Chicagoans deal with a jarring April temperature pullback Tuesday. After logging the area’s fourth 70°+ temp of the month in all but lakefront areas Monday—including 76° at O’Hare and 79° at Midway—readings dive more than 20° Tuesday. The month’s 70s have been occurring at a torrid pace—three times the long-term average since 1871. It’s one reason that despite Tuesday’s chill, April’s opening days have run 10° warmer than the same period a year ago and 9.1° above normal! Were this temp trend to continue the remainder of the month—a development not especially likely, but not completely impossible either—April, 2005 would finish the mildest on record.
Heavy rains were slow to advance on the city Monday thanks to some of the lowest early April relative humidity levels observed here this time of year in decades. Monday morning’s 25% reading at 8 a.m. was the lowest observed here during an April morning since 1971.
More than 2,000 attended Saturday's (April 9) 2005
Fermilab/WGN-TVTornado and Severe weather seminar in Batavia!
It was quite a day and evening Saturday (April 9) at the Department of Energy's Fermilab in Batavia--and so great to see so many there. For the 24th consecutive year, the folks at Fermilab opened their beautiful facility to us, allowing us to host our 25th Annual Fermilab Tornado and Severe Weather Seminars at Noon and 6pn there. The turnout was (and always has been) simply stunning!! More than 2,000 people attended--half new to our seminar, the other half attendees who have joined us in years
past. Our informal poll of where our audience members were from indicated every Midwest state was represented--including Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. We even had one visitor all the way from Nova Scotia in Canada's Maritime Provinces!
Many thanks to each of our outstanding speakers and to EACH of you who took time out of your busy weekend (and on a beautiful day, no less!) to join us!! It was great seeing each and every one of you and to work with Fermilab's outstanding Media Services folks. To Bill Flaherty and all of his colleagues at Fermilab--MANY THANKS for hosting our event!!
Photos courtesy Rick Felty, Tribune Company
Our audiences have always run the gamut in terms of age, from junior high students to seniors--each with a fascination with severe weather. But, all present were there because of an interest in tornadoes and severe thunderstorms and the sometime life threatening hazards they represent.
If you missed our programs this year, we hope to see you next April and will keep you posted on dates later this year and in the opening months of 2006!
Many thanks to all of our Saturday speakers:
Dr. Joe Schaefer, Director, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center
Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, MD-University of Illinois-Chicago Hospital
Dr. Jim Angel, Illinois state climatologist, Midwestern Regional Climate
Brian Smith, National Weather Service-Omaha Nebrask
Al Pietrycha, Paul Merzlock and Jim Allsopp, National Weather
Paul Sirvatka-Professor of Meteorology, College of DuPage
Photo courtesy of Thomas MacPhail
Although it's spring in Chicago, there's still lots of snow to be found—if you travel far enough north, of course! Despite stronger sunlight and longer days in Alaska, there are still portions of the state with a good deal of snow that has not yet melt. Above is a picture taken last week of a truck in Alaska completely snow-covered (the orange spot is the vehicle's roof, which has just become visible thanks to some recent snowmelt). Next to it is a parked car that's still completely covered by snow.
While Chicagoans were basking in near-80º warmth Sunday, Denver residents were reeling from a spring blizzard that brought up to a foot of snow to the metropolitan area by Sunday evening with as much as 2 to 3 feet expected in the foothills west of the city. White-out conditions closed area interstates and airports, and many residents lost power. East of the storm, southerly winds sent a surge of warmth and humidity northward through the Plains, raking portions of Texas, Kansas and Nebraska with high winds, large hail and tornadoes. Seventeen tornadoes were reported in Kansas while winds gusted to 85 m.p.h. at Sanger, Texas (north of Dallas-Ft.Worth).
As this storm heads east into the Midwest this week and passes south of Chicago, the combination of clouds, rain and east winds off of chilly Lake Michigan will result in major temperature drops here with highs in the 50s inland and 40s near the lake by midweek.