City experiencing warmest Memorial Day on record as O'Hare temperature hits 95 degrees

..RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT CHICAGO-OHARE...
A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 94 DEGREES WAS SET AT CHICAGO-OHARE
AT 1248 PM. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 93 SET BACK IN 2006 AND
1991. THE TEMPERATURE CAN STILL INCREASE DURING THE REMAINDER OF
THIS AFTERNOON. AT 1PM IT REACHED 95 DEGREES
THE TEMPERATURE OF 94 ALSO MAKES IT THE WARMEST MEMORIAL DAY ON
RECORD SINCE 1871. THE PREVIOUS RECORD FOR MEMORIAL DAY WAS 93
DEGREES SET ON MAY 30TH IN 1942 AND 1953.

Chicago's 10 wettest and 10 driest Mays

Official precipitation, 1871-2011
 
141-year average  3.53″
 
wettest
1   7.59″   1945
2   7.32″   1883
3   7.27″   2011
4   7.22″   2004
5   7.20″   1873
6   7.09″   1935
7   7.08″   1943
8   7.04″   1915
9   6.95″   1996
10  6.85″  1990
 
driest
1   0.30″   1992
2   0.58″   1994 
3   0.67″   1934
4   0.78″   1950
5   0.80″   1921
6   0.84″   1897
7   0.93″   1903
8   1.00″   1886
9   1.19″   1988
10  1.38″  1887

Chicago's biggest snowstorm: The infamous Blizzard of 1967 which stuck with NO advance warning

By Meteorologist Tom Skilling

Here are the original weather forecasts which were sent out by teletype to radio and television stations for the Blizzard of 1967 courtesy of Frank Wachowski.  The night before the forecast, the prediction was for a 50 percent chance of rain or snow. There was NO word a storm was on its way. The Blizzard of 1967 caught Chicagoans completely by surprise.  The temperature had hit 65-degrees only two days earlier.

Forecasters in that era had NO satellite imagery, NO in flight aircraft observations, hand plotted their maps and had access to an upper air forecast off  one one very simple computer model–the so-called “barotropic” model, which didn’t perform well in developmental situations (like the 1967 blizzard situation) and predicted the flow pattern at only one level of the atmosphere.

Today’s models which take into account atmospheric developments in up to 90 vertical layers and on a global basis, focusing on small scale features of developing storms, something forecasters in 1967 couldn’t even imagine.. 2012 computer projections are run on supercomputers which can perform 80-trillion mathematical operations per second. And forecasters can look at dozens of different models to hone forecasts.

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Historic Chicago National Weather Service Figures

Veteran Chicago weather observer and historian Frank Wachowski was kind enough to supply these fabulous historic pictures of key staff members from Chicago’s National Weather Service offices (back when the organization was known as the U.S. Weather Bureau):
ivanbrunk.jpg
IVAN W. BRUNK: Mr. Brunk was in charge of the Bureau’s downtown Public Service Unit during the 1950s. The Public Service Unit served Chicago’s media and TV stations. (Note: The Weather Service currently has no offices in downtown Chicago.)
johnsullivan.jpg
JOHN J. SULLIVAN: Mr. Sullivan served as Chicago’s climatologist from 1952 through 1972. He was stationed at the Federal Building in downtown Chicago, and was responsible for preparing the Bureau’s monthly data forms, which included a narrative summary of the month’s weather events (a feature missed in current-day weather summaries). Mr. Sullivan passed away in the early 1970s.
Special thanks goes to Frank Wachowski for supplying the pictures and information on their careers.
– WGN Weather Center