You know who you are. You are in a hurry but your windshield is covered in frost, ice, snow or a combination of all three. Instead of taking the time to scrape your windshield clear, you scrape off a 3 inch by 5 inch peephole (or smaller) so you can peer out of your vehicle as you head off into traffic putting yourself and others at risk. Police will be clamping down on “peephole” drivers this fall and winter according to this recent article from USA Today.
People in Denver will be scraping tonight and tomorrow as they brace for a major storm that could bring up to nearly two feet of snow in some of the higher elevations. That storm will bring us wet and windy weather for Friday. Scraping snow could be in our near future, at least according to Chicago climatology. The average date of the first measurable snow (at least .1″) is November 16th
The last time 19 of the first 26 days of October reported at least a trace of rain was 1925–84 years ago. No wonder the month’s sunny spells–like the one predicted Tuesday–are so warmly greeted by Chicagoans. Only two Octobers over the 139-year observational record here have logged more days on which rain has fallen: 1898 with 21 days and 1925 with 20 days. With at least three additional spells of rain on the way before the month closes at midnight Saturday night, computer rainfall projections suggest October is on track to finish as one of the 10 wettest on record.
Dramatic buckling of the jet stream is setting huge and very wintry weather changes underway over much of the mountainous West. Big storms form when jet streams buckle. By late Monday, ten Western states had been placed under various weather advisories for snow and high winds. Forecasts suggest as much as 6 to 15 inches of snow may cover the high country of western Nebraska while some mountain peaks in Colorado and Wyoming could see 15 to 30 inches. The same storm sets up powerful southerly winds from the ground tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere. It’s a development which threatens a severe weather outbreak through the nation’s mid-section Thursday and Friday–a situation which could send thunderstorms rumbling across the Chicago area. But the same set-up offers this area a shot at the month’s first 70-degree temperature.
As daylight fades–Tuesday is to see 4.65 fewer hours of daylight than our longest day back on June 21–and loses intensity–we receive only 31 percent of the energy from late October sunlight than June sunlight–winds become critically important in transporting warmth north from the tropics before the air can cool. The late-week weather set-up may also include 40-plus mph wind gusts Thursday night into Saturday night–winds likely to buffet trick or treaters here.
Harvest weather continues to be a nightmare for area farmers
The Fall 2009 harvest continues at glacial speed–slowed by the season’s wet weather. USDA reported Monday that only 14 percent of Illinois’ corn and 21 percent of the corn in Indiana has been harvested–a fraction of the 77 and 65 percent five-year averages. Wisconsin farmers have harvested only 9 percent of that state’s corn crop compared to an average of 36 percent.
Recently you reported no wind at O’Hare. If it were possible to have no wind happening anywhere, would our current weather remain the same day after day, or would weather continue to move and change?
Bear in mind that standard weather observations describe the state of the atmosphere at the ground (more precisely, within several feet of the ground). A report of calm air refers only to that very shallow surface layer, several tens of feet above which the wind is invariably still blowing.
“If it were possible…” is the operative phrase in your question, but it is not possible. Temperature differences (in the horizontal) always exist; that implies differences in air density and pressure, and air always tries to move (that is, wind blows) from higher to lower air pressure. Calm air exists only locally and briefly (a few hours).
Amarjit Virdi shot this great picture last week from the Elmhurst Metra station.
Photo by Amarjit Virdi
John DeVaney was kind enough to share these great shots showing fall in all its glorious colors. The shots were taken near Chesterton, in northwest Indiana.
Thanks to Jeannine Evans for sharing this beautiful photo with us taken Sunday afternoon, one of the nicer periods in what has been a dismal, dreary October.