Chicago & Much Of Midwest Ends June-July Period Below Normal, Trend To Continue!

Written by on August 1, 2013 in United States of America with 0 Comments

What a difference a year makes for the Chicago, IL area with more than half of July temperatures staying below normal. According to WGN’s Tom Skilling, the past 9 days have been below normal, in fact some 8.1 degrees below normal.

There are other very interesting facts regarding the cool spell Chicago has had. In the past 9 days of below normal temperatures, only one 80 degree day has occurred and Tom states that you have to go all the way back to 1926 for the last time that’s occurred in the area.

While the June-July period is running below normal and July just a touch below normal at -0.8. but it’s running 7.9 degrees LOWER than last July. Interestingly, Chicago has only seen six 90+ degree days while at this point last year there was 38! Incidentally, June ended below normal too at -0.8. June’s top temperature was 90 and the only 90 of the month. July’s top reading was a more respectable 96 but only 5 days managed to get above 90.

Source: WGN-TV

Source: WGN-TV

On the flip side, Fairbanks, Alaska of all places has enjoyed a record 14 straight days above 70, averaging more than 2 degrees WARMER than Chicago. Thanks to a building upper ridge that warmth will continue to be forced all the way up to into Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories through the rest of this week, weekend and into next week and as a result, unseasonably chilly from northern Canada will continue to drop into the Midwest, Great Lakes and Eastern US.

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Check out the upper pattern and 850 temperatures off the ECMWF. You can see the setup with abnormally warm air flooding the Western flank of the country and it’s as this ridge pumps the heat north, so deepening lows spinning over Hudson Bay sink south into the Upper Midwest, reinforcing the chill here.

Thursday promises a ‘warmer’ day in Chicago as west winds bring the first 80 in over a week and potentially the first ‘average’ day (83) in 10 days.

Thu 1


Notice that as the ridge strengthens up into the northwest corner of the continent with record warmth likely, arctic air is being drawn south (green colours).

Sat 3


By early next week the model has a newly formed cold upper low, pay close attention to that low as warmth continues to pour across the arctic circle, perhaps producing Yukon upper 80s, even 90s by this time.

Mon 5


Though the level of cold weakens within the upper low as you would expect as it drops south, this feature is what will deliver the reinforcing shot of summer type arctic air into the Midwest.

Wed 7


Mid next week will likely see new frost advisories across northern Minnesota and the UP of Michigan. Notice by next Friday (below), the hot air over the Lower 48 is squeezed way down into Texas and it’s even weakened considerably across the West!

Fri 9


As posted yesterday. August is looking cooler and cooler on the newer CFSv2 runs. Here’s the latest…


Notice the chill goes all the way to North Florida! The Southeast btw has been exceptionally cool this July too with only a handful of 90s in many major cities. Take Charlotte, NC as an example. Last July saw only failed 90 on 5 days with 4 days above 100 with a maximum of 104. This July has produced only 4 days of 90 with a maximum of 92. Could this be a top 5 cool July or even summer for much of the Southeast? Perhaps..

With the continuation of below normal conditions and the reinforcing shot of fall-like air coming down, it appears Chicago is on track for another below normal month and that would make every month of meteorological summer below normal this year. I’m sure we’ll find out in due course how long it’s been since that occurred. My guess would be the early 2000s, possibly 2004 which was a chilly summer for a large swath of the country.

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