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If History Repeats, This Summer Could Stay A Scorcher

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 12, 2017 6:50PM

Getty Images / Photo: Scott Olson

If you're not loving this scorching heat, you might want to look away.

In recent history, when Chicago logs at least five 90-degree days before June 13, as the city is expected to do this year, we've tended to see even more of those blistering days along with higher than average temperatures from June through August, according to the National Weather Service-Chicago.

In 14 other summers that Chicago reached that early high-heat benchmark, the city saw an above average total of 90-degree-plus days every single year, with the majority being much above average. And 10 of those 14 summers saw temperatures for the season spike much warmer than average.

Still, those past figures are no guarantee that we'll get a scorcher, stressed NWS meteorologist Charles Mott. "The most that I'm willing to give you is a 'we'll see.' Because what happens today doesn’t mean it’ll happen tomorrow," he told Chicagoist.

Mott noted that when Alaska has warm weather, as it does currently, that tends to have a cool-down effect on Chicago, thanks to the cold air moving down. You can actually see some of that cold air in the long-term model below, although it hovers just stubbornly west of Chicago in the map. According to that three-month outlook, Chicago has a roughly 33 percent chance of seeing higher-than-average temperatures.

Three-month temperature outlook (National Weather Service)

That potential cold air, plus an equal chance that we'll have normal precipitation this summer, should give us hope for more-tolerable temps. "It doesn't necessarily look like we'll have an above normal summer, temperature-wise," Mott said. We'll happily take that optimism, because those previous early-heat summers don't inspire much.