O’HARE FORECAST …
Today: A chance of flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming clear, with a low around 25. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 40. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.
Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. South wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Blustery and colder weather is on tap for today, with blustery west winds gusting to 35 mph at times along with with a few flurries later this morning and afternoon. Clouds should scatter out tonight to allow viewing of the partial lunar eclipse which begins around midnight and peaks around 3 am Friday morning. Friday will be dry but still below average temperature-wise, though increasing high clouds in the afternoon will be associated with return flow aloft which will lead to a warm-up this weekend.
Deep surface low pressure near the western shore of James Bay continues to pull slowly away from the region to the northeast this morning. The western Great Lakes region remains in the southwestern periphery of a broad area of low level cyclonic flow associated with this departing disturbance, within which low level cold advection will be enhanced today as the southern portion of the upper level trough and it’s mid-level cold pool move across the area. In addition to steepening low-level lapse rates and helping to produce blustery west winds with 35 mph gusts today, diurnally-enhanced stratocu deck will be within the favorable temperature range for producing flurries beneath the upper trough axis. This along with the gusty winds and temperatures in the mid-upper 30s will add to the wintry feel of the day.
The upper trough axis moves east of the forecast area early this evening, with strong subsidence developing in its wake overnight (indicated by 150 meter mid-level height rises). Combined with continued dry low level advection, this should allow for scattering and clearing of the stratocu deck from west to east through the evening and early overnight hours. Winds will diminish markedly as well, as the gradient weakens as surface high pressure ridge builds in from the west overnight. A chilly night is in store, with overnight lows ranging from the upper teens across cooler parts of north central Illinois to the low to mid 20s elsewhere.
Friday will start out sunny as the surface high pressure ridge slides east across the forecast area, though high clouds are expected to increase during the midday and afternoon hours as warm advection develops aloft ahead of a quick moving low-amplitude short wave which will pass across the cwa Friday night. Low levels will remain very dry as this wave moves through, and mid/high cloud cover and modestly breezy south winds will be the only impacts and will help to keep temps in the lower 30s across most of the area overnight.
No observation this morning — Dew Point Depression over 12°F overnight/early morning.
Weather Radar in northeast Illinois was clear Thursday morning through early afternoon.
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