Tuesday brings blustery weather for Chicago ahead of potential snowstorm later this week
CHICAGO - Warmer. Windier. Wetter. Whitened. I’ve run out of words that start with "W" to describe the weather on the way through Thursday.
Wait, I’ve got two more. Whopper. Whimper. Because those are the two options for Thursday’s snowfall potential being steadfastly advertised by the two computer model camps. More on the battle between the US and Foreigners below.
Today, temperatures will climb above freezing and may actually eclipse the normal high for the date which is 36 degrees. Skies will be mostly cloudy and the wind will pick up leading to a rather blustery late afternoon and evening.
Temps won’t drop much tonight and may stay a bit above freezing as even milder air surges in tomorrow. Highs should crack 50 degrees pretty much area wide.
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Rain could begin by late Wednesday morning but the coverage and intensity of said rainfall will crescendo during the afternoon and evening-leading to a soaked and slowed evening commute. Flooding is a concern due to the deeply-frozen ground and ice-clogged rivers.
Wednesday night, especially late, rain changes to ice then snow into Thursday. Chicago is not climatologically prone to ice storms. Sure. We get some freezing rain and slippery roads but crippling ice storms with toppled trees and drooping power lines are rare here. I think any icing will not take us off the power grid.
Thursday remains the biggest puzzlement. There is high confidence that it’s going to snow. There is growing confidence that it will be plowable. But there remain HUGE differences among the computer models on how much snow falls.
The US models clobber us with 2 inches per hour snow that deposits more than a foot over most of our area. The European and Canadian models keep the heaviest snow way to our south with more of a 2-5 inch event. Both of these camps have been consistent for days.
Obviously, at least one scenario will be wrong. Expect the models to converge on a solution by tomorrow afternoon if not sooner as the infant storm system is now better investigated by the US network of weather balloons.
For now-there are no advisories watches or warnings for the winter aspect of this storm. There is a flood watch south of the Kankakee River.