Over the past several days, numerical model guidance has latched onto the idea of a several day period of above normal temperatures and quite warm ones at that and they continue to remain fairly consistent on this. This will not be record breaking by any means but there is the potential for some areas to get well into the 70's for one or two days this upcoming weekend along with widespread 60's throughout the state.
I dig into the details below....including when the warmth arrives and where the warmest temperatures will reside.
As it has been mentioned in previous articles, we like to look where the upper level ridge axis is and will be located for a given time as this is usually a good indicator of the broad region where above normal temperatures and widespread warmth can be expected. This image below is valid at 4pm this coming Saturday and yes we are still several days away but right now, it is forecast to be smack dab over Illinois which would lead one to think above normal temperatures are likely...
Another favorable aspect of this setup is that the broad trough and area of low pressure i the above image^ will help lead to favorable winds to our south and southwest and these will act to advect those warmer temperatures northward as we near and enter the upcoming weekend. There is a long fetch of southerly and southwesterly winds just off the surface from the western Gulf of Mexico right up into the Midwest, including Illinois, by Saturday evening.
Now lets get to the fun part....seeing just how warm it could *potentially* get for this upcoming weekend. Don't take these predicted highs at face value just yet as things could still change over the coming days but more so just a what could happen this weekend if the favorable setup as modeled comes to fruition. The image below is forecast temperatures across the region and Illinois at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, showing widespread 60's with a good chunk of the state even getting into the low to mid 70's.
As things look now, the warmth will continue right on into Sunday to end the weekend with another day of potential widespread 70's across Illinois and possibly even getting up into northern Illinois, which would make for the warmest temperatures of the year so far. O'hare Airport, the official record keeping site for Chicago has only seen a highest temperature of 65 so far this year.
As we go into the start of next week on Monday, models begin to diverge on solutions with some saying a front moves south through the south leading to a colder start to the week while some other guidance suggests another day of 70's to start the week. Be sure to stay tuned for continued updates on this weekend warm-up.
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