A warm October for the world, but Chicago is shivering now

Chicago may be diving into the deep freeze for the next few days, but the latest numbers from NOAA say climate change is keeping our world relatively warm this year.

I will start with a look at the local short-term chilly forecast.

We saw an inch of snow at O'Hare on Tuesday. It arrived nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. It was our first measurable snow of the season. On average Chicago gets its first 1" of snow or more on December 7. More snow showers Wednesday and then a cold blast blows in on gusty winds Thursday with temperatures tumbling even more for the weekend. It will be not just the coldest air of the season so far but the coldest air we've seen in nearly nine months.

This weekend will have high temperatures around 20 degrees below average. Our model has three straight days with highs in the 20s starting on Friday. The last time we had a stretch of days that cold was back in the middle of February!

So after several days well below average, the longer range forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center signal the cold will ease by the end of the month.

The 6-10 day temperature outlook has us "leaning below" average overall from next Monday through Friday. The shade of blue in this particular forecast has gotten a lot lighter compared to previous outlooks. That's an indication the cold will be loosening its grip.

The blue is even replaced by brown on the 8-14 day temperature outlook where we flip to a warmer than average forecast. This outlook has us "leaning above" average overall from next Wednesday through the following Tuesday.

The forecast on a much broader and longer range scale is still warm.

This past October was the fourth-warmest October since records began in 1880 according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) report. The average global temperature for October was 1.60 degrees above the 20th-century average of 57.1 degrees. Only the Octobers of 2015, 2019 and 2018 were warmer. 

It was the 46th October in a row and the 454th consecutive month with temperatures warmer than the 20th-century average.

The long range forecast is warm for the world. There is a greater than 99% chance that 2022 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record.