A more dramatic warm-up than the one predicted Tuesday has never occurred in Chicago during May. Tuesday's predicted temperature surge to a July-level high of 88-degrees at O'Hare would be a 52-degree increase from Monday morning's chilly, frost-generating 36-degree low. That would be a first here and establish a new record for the largest 2-day temperature surge in the month of May.
There have been past "day-to-next" temp increases of that magnitude at OTHER times of the year here. A 52-degree surge Tuesday would tie with eight other years since 1871 as the city’s 11th- largest increase over a two-day period.
It's been a decade since temps last warmed by that much over two days and that occurred April 13-14, 2003 when readings soared from from 29 to 85-degrees.
Incoming warmth part of a warm surge which broke records across 9 Plains and western states Monday
The pool of abnormally warm air from which Tuesday's warmth emanates generated record-breaking highs across 9 states Monday---from California east to Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas.
Salt Lake City, Utah recorded its earliest 93-degree high on record.
Temperatures flirted with triple-digits in Kansas and topped 100 out West Tuesday
Afternoon highs Tuesday neared triple digits in Kansas and topped the century mark in portions of Utah, Nevada, interior California and Arizona.
Highs of 99-degrees were recorded at Ulysses; 98 at Phillipsburg and 97 at Oberlin---all in Kansas. Farther west, St. George, Utah hit 102-degrees while Fillmore---also in Utah---topped out at an even 100-degrees.
In nearby Nevada, Laughlin reached 109-degrees and Overton hit 108 while Bullhead City, Arizona broiled at 108 and Parker recorded a 106-degree max.
Capped atmosphere means weak cold front to pass precipitation-free here Tuesday night despite influx of Gulf moisture and presence of strong wind shear
The prediction of surging dew points later Tuesday and Tuesday night, a sign of more humid air's arrival, plus forecasts of high atmospheric energy levels and a vigorous shift in wind speeds with height----what meteorologists refer to a vertical shear---would at first glance appear to support the eruption of powerful thunderstorms with a southbound cold front Tuesday night. But computer models depict a "capped" atmosphere---one in which temperatures don't decline with height in their usual fashion, as well Chicago's position under the "nose" of a powerful pocket of upper level winds, as factors predicted to thwart what might otherwise be vigorous thunderstorm development Tuesday night.
This suggests the cold front will do little beyond producing a shift in Tuesday night's powerful ground-level winds here. Temperatures are predicted to hold at unseasonably mild levels 18-degrees above normal overnight,
Influx of Gulf moisture with weekend warm surge could set the stage for several thunderstorms
It's late this week and over the coming weekend which pose the best chance of generating thunderstorms. They're likely to arrive in widely spaced clusters, suggesting many rain-free hours are likely to be interspersed with what looks to be a new round of 80-degree temperatures.
Quietest tornado/severe weather season in nearly 60 years could become more active here Sunday
Sunday afternoon or night could prove a different story. Jet stream winds will be slicing through humid air in place by that time raising the specter of potentially vigorous thunderstorms in a severe weather season which, up to now, has been the quietest across the U.S. in nearly 60 years.