How does the cool summer of 2009 compare to other recent cool summers we’ve endured, such as 2004 and 1992?
Tim Lucole, Deerfield
With an average temperature of 70.0 degrees as of July 31, it’s certainly accurate to characterize this summer as “cool.” In fact, it ranks 8th coolest out of 82 years of temperature data (1928-2009) at Midway Airport.
However, this might be a premature characterization because meteorological summer runs through August 31 and one-third of the season is yet to occur. It’s difficult to keep temperatures down in August. Indeed, a pattern change suggests much higher readings in a few days.
From June 1 through July 31, this summer’s daily high temperatures have averaged 78.1 degrees (versus a normal of 82.7 in that period) and it ranked third coolest; 2004 (79.6 degrees) was 8th coolest and 1992 (78.8) was 4th coolest.
Dave Skrzyniarz sends us these photo. In the e-mail accompanying it, Dave tells us:
“Strange pics on Monday at 4:30—-a jet left this trail thru the cloud deck—it actually looked like it emerged from the clouds and left this mark. Several other jets also had the same effect — making the clouds appear to be smoke!”
Fascinating shot, Dave—THANKS for sharing it with us!
Photos courtesy of Dave Skrzyniarz
Powerful thunderstorms sweep into the Peoria area–part of a Tuesday outbreak which produced damaging winds, flooding rains from Missouri to Kentucky
Thunderstorms unleashed 60 to 70 m.p.h. wind gusts on sections of downstate Illinois and Indiana as well as Missouri and Kentucky Tuesday morning. Rob Shreiner, a paramedic with photographic skills evident in this set of photos, sends us these eye-catching shots of the ominous skies which accompanied the storms as the roared into the Peoria area. Rob tells us:
“I was in Peoria, IL this morning as this storm rolled in at approx 8:36 AM today.
Amazing formations as they were rolling down at me as I was taking the images. Gusts present and the heavy rain did not begin until approx 10 minutes after this came in.
Only adjustments were auto contrast, slight sharpen and obviously crop, all taken w/ 16-35mm wide angle lens, so that’s why all the poles tilt inward.”
Thanks for sharing these with us, Rob!
Photos courtesy of Rob Schreiner, Wadsworth, Illinois
The moderate warmth that has dominated so much of Chicago’s summer 2009 to date continues another two days. Wednesday and Thursday highs are to reach the lower 80s. But, big changes loom this weekend as long absent heat begins its charge into the Chicago area on 30+ m.p.h. wind gusts which are expected to be in place here Saturday afternoon and like to continue Sunday. The rapidly expanding dome of hot air threatens ignite clusters of active thunderstorms to the west of Chicago over sections of the Plains and western Midwest in coming days. These storms may sweep into the Chicago area Friday night into Saturday morning. The cool outflows which occur with such storms must always be monitored–they’ve been known to interfere with hot air’s movement. But, with the incoming hot air mass expected to become “capped” and unable to produce thunderstorms here Saturday afternoon and evening, mid 90s seem a good bet before the sun sets Saturday and readings may even increase to the upper 90s Sunday. Temperatures at that level this weekend would be the warmest here in three years and mark the first time a weekend has produced back to back 90+-degree highs in just over two years.
Powerful storms storms topple trees, power poles downstate; Kentucky hit by 6-inch-plus rains
The veil of high clouds across the Chicago area Tuesday blew off the tops of powerhouse thunderstorms responsible for damaging winds and driving rains from northern Missouri across central and southern Illinois and Indiana. Gusts to 67 m.p.h. raked Indianapolis and hit 66 m.p.h. in west Lafayette in Indiana. In downstate Illinois, gusts of 60 m.p.h. swept Springfield while Lincoln and Mattoon recorded 55 m.p.h. gusts and Bloomington was swept by 49 m.p.h. gusts. Utility poles and trees snapped at many locations. Meantime, rainfall reached 6.46 inches at Grand Rivers, Kentucky and Louisville’s 4.52 inches was a record calendar day rain for the month of August.
Last summer severe storms swept the Chicago area and Wrigley Field was evacuated. Were any tornadoes reported that evening?
Monica Salgado Chicago
A year ago on the evening of August 4 a violent squall line raced across the Chicago area producing wind gusts as high as 94 m.p.h., intense lightning and thunder and widespread flooding from torrential rainfall. The storm complex known as a DERECHO left a long legacy of downed trees and power lines all the way from northwest Illinois to Lake Michigan. In the city, tornado sirens blared as the stands at Wrigley Field were evacuated. Most of the storm damage was due to high straight-line winds but there were three confirmed tornadoes; an EF2 (winds to 135 m.p.h.) in Griffith, Indiana and EF1 twisters (winds to 110 m.p.h.) in Bloomingdale and Bolingbrook.
It may seem like we skipped summer this year. We have had only three days so far with highs in the 90s. This July ranked as the second coolest since the official weather station for Chicago moved inland from the lakefront in 1942.
Summer will surge back though this weekend. If we hit the predicted 95 on Saturday, that would make it the hottest day since August 2nd, 2006 when O’Hare hit 97.
Today won’t be quite as hot but it could be the warmest day since June 25th when we hit 94.
For more information on how to handle the upcoming mini-heat wave, click here.