Northeast winds sent temps here tumbling as they took hold around 3 p.m. Monday. They’ll continue to blow off Lake Michigan Tuesday for a 15th day this month. It’s a stat which means the city has been cooled by lake winds 60% of the time in May, 2005. Little wonder so many become frustrated by the slow pace at which warming takes place here each warm season. The flow returns May to its cool ways, limiting shoreline highs to the 50s—though readings warm to 67° at some inland locations Tuesday.
The cool temps here contrast with the record-breaking triple-digit heat, which has blazed for a week to Chicago’s west—and with March-level 40s predicted in New England Tuesday amid the powerful 40+ m.p.h. coastal winds of an unusual late season Nor’easter. Gusts at Nantucket and on Martha’s Vineyard are to reach 50-60 m.p.h. at times later Tuesday.
The good news is that Chicago area temperatures soared as high as the lower 80s Sunday as morning cloudiness and a few passing sprinkles gave way to brilliant afternoon sunshine. The bad news is that Sunday’s highs will likely not be approached again this week. Cooler air will be filtering into the area in the week ahead as jet stream winds turn northwesterly, sending air of Canadian and arctic origin into the area. Most days should see highs in the 60s and lower 70s right into the Memorial Day weekend.
Hot air is making an early season statement in areas from the southern Plains to the desert Southwest. Temperature records tumbled Sunday from Louisiana to southern California. The Dallas area recorded its second consecutive 99º record high while blistering triple-digit heat set records in the Southwest, including Needles (114°) and Palm Springs (112°) in California, and Tucson (109°) and Yuma (110°) in Arizona.
A cluster of t-storms is expected to roll through the city this morning with a second batch possible during a period of afternoon heating. With cold air aloft along with a strong NW jet stream, some storms could bring hail and strong winds similar to the storms that struck this area late last Thursday.
Chicago’s high officially made it into the lower 70s Saturday, but lakeshore areas could not get out of the 60s courtesy of this spring’s seemingly persistent northeast winds. Max temperatures in the upcoming week should be capped in the 70s on the warmest days, and on Monday readings may struggle to even reach the lower 60s.
In contrast, the season’s first wave of 100° temps continues to expand in the Desert Southwest, while early season temperature records tumbled from Louisiana to Colorado as readings there soared into the 90s. Dallas-Forth Worth established a new record high Saturday topping out at 99º while the 98º high at Oklahoma City also rewrote the record books.