Have we ever gone through an entire September without recording an 80?
It has happened, but only once in 139 years of weather records. The year was 1876 when the city’s official thermometer was located downtown near Lake Michigan. The highest temperature that September was just 78 degrees,recorded on the Sept.1 and again on the Sept.19. Since then, the closest the city has come to an 80-less September was 16 years ago in 1993, when only one was recorded: an even high of 80 degrees on the Sept.12. The month was cloudy with only 52 percent of possible sunshine and quite cool, averaging 5.2 degrees below normal. Besides the pronounced lack of 80s, it featured five days with highs in the 50s and the month ended with an early-in-the-season freeze with the low temperature reaching 31 degrees on the 30th.
Gary Wojton from Scottsdale, Arizona sent us this beautiful picture of monsoon clouds.
Thanks for the great shot Gary!
Kathy Nadura from Bensenville, Ill. sent us this great snapshot. She tells us:
“I thought you would enjoy this picture which I took on Labor Day morning in my back yard. It really is a weather bug!“
Thanks for the shot Kathy!
Photo courtesy of Kathy Nadura, Bensenville, Ill.
Thought you’d get a kick out of these shots of our visit Tuesday on board the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lake Guardian research ship. On board, scientists are keeping a close eye on the Great Lakes—monitoring everything from invasive species which are literally changing the food chain and character of these treasured bodies of water but also looking at toxins which flow into them. We went out onto Lake Michigan aboard the Lake Guardian and had a chance to see the equipment used in these Great Lakes studies up close. We report on our trip and introduce you to these scientists on Wednesday evening’s (9/9/2009) WGN News at Nine! Hope you have a chance to check our report out tonight at 9 P.M. and online!
NOAA has just completed the final phase of a nine-year, $180 million plan to upgrade the computer system that powers our nation’s forecasts for the National Weather Service. These aren’t your parent’s computers. These IBM supercomputers would fill about half of a tennis court and are 34 times more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer that existed just 10 years ago. According to NOAA, it would take someone with a calculator 3 million years to match the number of calculations the new “Stratus” supercomputer system can whip out in one second.
All this extra power should enable the use of more complex weather models that should improve accuracy and lead to more lead time for severe weather warnings.
A testament to just how cool the 2009 summer has been is the number of days that temperatures have reached at least 80 degrees at O’Hare International Airport. The city has not recorded an official high of 80 degrees since Aug. 25, a string not seen here in nearly 125 years, when readings were taken downtown near Lake Michigan’s cooling breezes. To date, there have been just 51 days of 80 degrees or higher in Chicago this year, the fewest on record here in the 50 years since records began at O’Hare in 1959. In contrast to this summer’s paltry count of 51, the city logged 103 warm days in 2005 and 101 in 2007.
The weather has also been dry with only 0.03 inches of rain in the last 10 days. A few showers may dampen the Indiana and southern suburbs Wednesday but a more general- coverage rain pattern should begin to evolve by this weekend into next week as a frontal system approaches.
Cloudbursts hit Kansas-High winds in Texas
It was anything but dry in portions of south-central Kansas Tuesday as heavy thunderstorms swamped the area. Eureka measured 6.50 inches while nearby Benton recorded 5.66 inches. In the Texas Panhandle thunderstorm wind gusts reached 67 m.p.h. at Childress and 61 m.p.h. at Lubbock.