August 31, 2009

Spooky in Chicago

ht/Ice Age Now


August Ends With Near-Record Cold
Temperatures Close To Record Overnight Low Of 47 Degrees, Set In 1872

Usually, late August is time a when Chicagoans are thinking of hitting the beaches or lounging in the sidewalk cafes one last time, but this year, the temperatures have seemed more appropriate for Halloween.

The record low for Aug. 31 is 47 degrees, set in 1872. Overnight Sunday into Monday, the nippy readings were close, and in some areas even lower.

CBS 2's Ed Curran reported that the overnight low at O'Hare International Airport was 49 degrees.

At 5 a.m., it was 49 at Midway International Airport, 48 in Waukegan, and a mere 41 degrees in Aurora.

Skies were clear across most of the Midwest Monday morning, but the sun will do little to warm the temperatures.

Overall in Chicago, this August has hardly been what one would call the dog days of summer. There was only one day where the temperatures reached the 90s. On Aug. 9, temperatures climbed into the mid-90s.

Typically, the city issues cautionary messages for heat several times each summer – stay inside, run your air conditioner, drink lots of water. But the weekend of Aug. 8 and 9 was one of the only times the city issued any such warnings this year.

In fact, Aug. 9 was only one of four days this summer where the temperature exceeded 90 degrees. Temperatures also reached the 90s in June 23, 24 and 25. July had no 90-degree days at all.

Curran says there were several days with above normal readings in the first half of the month. But since Aug. 20, the Chicago area has seen only one day – Tuesday of last week – on which the temperature was above normal.

On average, temperatures in Chicago have been 6.67 degrees below normal since Aug. 20. Since Aug. 27, temperatures have run an average of 10.6 degrees below normal. The coldest day was Sunday, at 13 degrees below average, followed by Thursday of last week, at 12 degrees below.

The coldest August on record in Chicago was in 1915, when the temperature averaged a mere 66.6 degrees. But no record low overnight temperatures were set that year.

The second coolest August was in 1992, when on Aug. 27, the high temperature reached only 60 degrees.

This August is not on track to set any records for cold, nor is this summer as a whole. But this summer is on track to be the cloudiest summer ever recorded in the area.

Curran says normally at this time of year, available sunshine for the summer is 67 percent. This year, it was only 53 percent, meaning it was cloudy almost half the time.



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