Rare January thunderstorms roam the region Tuesday



—NOT ONLY DID RARE JANUARY T-STORMS ROAM the area Tuesday, but they also produced hail coating the ground from penny to dime-sized hailstones in Palatine and North Lake, Illinois. 

–December, January and February are the city’s lowest-producing thunderstorm months with one or fewer storms reported historically.

–Thunderstorms formed Tuesday afternoon along an eastbound cold front which will begin introducing increased winds and modestly colder temps in the coming days. 

—The Illinois thunderstorms were part of a winter storm system that has dropped heavy snow—a foot or more in sections of Nebraska and southern South Dakota. Lake Andres, South Dakota reported a 25″ accumulation while 18″ fell at Thedford, Nebraska; 15″ fell at Merna, Nebraska and 14.5″ fell at Valentine, Nebraska. In its warm sector, six tornadoes touched down in the deep south and there were 61 reports of damaging winds filed with the storm prediction center from eastern Texas across Louisiana, Arkansas and sections of Alabama and Tennessee. 

—It was another day of cloudy skies in Chicago with fog, drizzle and sporadic thunderstorms. Chicago has seen just 90 minutes of sun in the opening three days of January —just 5% of the possible 1,660 minutes of sunlight in that 3-day period. 

–Six of the past 10 days have hosted less than 50% of their possible sun and four of the past 10 days have seen NO sun at all. 

—January typically receives 40% of its possible sun but has only 5% of its possible sun on the books 

–Coming days will see backwash clouds with morning sprinkles giving way to snow flurries Wednesday afternoon and to sporadic snow showers Wednesday night and Thursday. 

–A break in precipatation is expected Friday but a weather system sweeping across the southern midwest may swipe parts of the Chicago area with some snow late Friday night into Saturday—though that’s not yet a sure thing. 

—Temps the next two weeks will continue above normal. Last week averaged 4-deg above normal; this week is modeled to come in 8-deg above normal and next week will average 7-deg above normal. So despite some snow and daytime 30s, warmer than normal nighttime temps will contribute to the continuation of an above normal temp trend. 

—Longer range modeling continues to show a downturn in temps later this month.  


Dense fog advisory from the in effect into Tuesday night from near I-80 and north

TONIGHT: FOGGY north half of the metro area including Chicago. Some showers and several thunderstorms, most numerous early tonight across south suburbs and Northwest Indiana. Then cloudy, winds strengthen later tonight with dense fog dissipating. Turning a bit colder. Winds strengthen from the southwest late 7 to 18 mph with some gusts. Low 33. 

WEDNESDAY: More cloudy than not, a bit breezy and modestly colder. Some passing sprinkles or brief showers reappear—and mixed snowflakes can’t be ruled out, particularly in the afternoon. High 41—but settling into the 30s. 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY: snow showers and flurries at times, modestly breezy and colder. Low Wednesday night 30. High Thursday 34. 

FRIDAY: A good deal of cloudiness—just the chance of brief peeks of sun. Chilly. High 35. 

SATURDAY: Cloudy and breezy. Chance of some snow or a possible light wintry mix over parts of the area. High 36. 

SUNDAY: A good deal of cloudiness. Chance of some sprinkles or flurries—mainly in the morning. High 36. 

MONDAY: Generous sunshine, temps remain at levels similar to recent days. High 36. 

TUESDAY: The sun may mix with some clouds. High 37. 

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