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Heavy weekend rains; temps to return to the 80s, trending to drier weather

Check out the rainfall with the T-STORM COMPLEX—that group of organized t-storms which swept the area Saturday and into the overnight hours. What a range in rainfalls—as is so typical of warm season precipitation systems.

Rainfall was minimal north of Chicago totaling only 0.01″ in north suburban Woodstock and Antioch and just 0.02″ near Lake Zurich. NO RAIN was reported at Harvard, Belvidere, Kenosha, Twin Lakes WI, Beloit and Lake Geneva.

The spread in totals across the city was dramatic. O’Hare picked up 0.13″ Saturday and today (Sunday)–while veteran NWS observer Frank Wachowski reports Midway Airport on the South Side received 0.64″.

Farther south–including across Chicago’s southern suburbs, all across northern Indiana and in other areas south of Chicago, rain totals picked up dramatically.

Not A Beach Day!

A BEACH HAZARDS statement has been issued through Monday evening.

This is the view as of 11:30am CDT Sunday morning off Chicago’s North Side Edgewater Beach neighborhood. The beach you see in the foreground is Kathy Osterman Beach off the far North End of DeSable Lake Shore Drive.

Trending Toward Drier Weather

We could see a peak of sunshine by Monday afternoon, but definitely some clear conditions by Tuesday. Drier conditions as we head through the rest of the week. Staying fairly dry as we head through the work week–just some sporadic chances of showers but nothing like what we saw over the weekend.

Most of the activity was well to the south of us Sunday, moving across central Illinois and Central Indiana. Flood watch was in effect Sunday evening in areas just to the west of I39 and south of I80 as those spots received so much rain there on Saturday and the system is moving fairly slowly still dumping quite a bit of rainfall across that area.

WGN Weekly Chicago climate summary: This week we finished up the very wet month of July with more than 7 inches of rainfall.

Many communities like Berwyn and Cicero saw even more than that. For Midway Airport it was the wettest month of July on record—records that go back almost a century. July 2023 had our longest streak of hot weather with four days in a row of 90 degrees or warmer. 

So far this year we’ve clocked 14 days of 90 or warmer and 13 of those hot days at Midway Airport. Neither airport has hit 100 degrees this year. O’Hare Int’l has not seen a temp of 100 or higher since July of 2012.

August started out with some dry weather, but rain has come back for the first weekend of the month. August is historically one of our warmest and wetter months of the year for Chicago. The average high temperature slowly declines to 80 degrees by the end of the month. 

The wet July has made a big dent in the severe drought conditions we were seeing in parts of Chicago and the Great Lakes region this spring. In data that’s updated weekly, severe drought only remains in a tiny portion of McHenry and Boone counties right along the WI border. Moderate drought in southern and northern Chicagoland with the central part of the region reverting to the lowest tier of drought condition referred to as “abnormally dry”.  The USDA drought monitor is updated on Thursdays, so this weekend’s rain will not show up until next week. 

This week our lake water temperature along the Chicago shore reached 75 degrees– the warmest we’ve seen the water this season. The warmer the water gets over the season– the less lake effect cooling it can provide to the areas. 

Last day this year of a sunset at 8 pm or later in Chicago

This coming week is one you might start to notice the gradual shortening of our days around Chicagoland that’s been happening since Summer Solstice. Wednesday is our last day this year of a sunset at 8 pm or later in Chicago. The official sunset time on Thursday is at 7:59p. The days are still quite long at more than 14 hours of daylight– it will be many more months before our shortest days of the year in December when the length of day is barely over 9 hours of daylight. While it feels like summer might be ending—don’t fret! We’ve still many more weeks to go until the Fall Equinox on September 23rd. 

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