Friday, January 11, 2013

First Thunderstorm of 2013 for Chicago

Well here is my obligatory first thunderstorm of the year post. A very unusual winter we are having this year. It is January 11th and the city's official snowfall so far is an almost non existent 1.3" - which is about a foot below normal. Numerous snow records have fallen including latest first date for measurable snow, longest consecutive days without measurable snow and longest consecutive days without an inch of snow. We also tied the latest date for the first sub-freezing high temperature as well broke a couple of other odd anti winter weather records I can't remember off the top of my head. For people like me who hate winter and snow, its been a dream pattern!

The next record to be threatened is the latest first date of an Inch of snow, which is January 17th - but a system tomorrow threatens us with an inch or 2 of snow so well have to see if we can dodge yet another bullet.

Anyways, the lack of snow isn't due to lack of precip, but rather a mild pattern. We have picked up a good deal of rain in the last month which is helping to ease the drought some. Yesterday another good dumping of rain came with a brief period of thunder and lightning and I was able to log the first thunderstorm for the local area. Quite unusual to have it so early in the year, but not unheard of. In fact last year in January we had an even better event with actual individual convective cells containing numerous CG lightning.

This event was more CC lightning embedded in a large shield of rain with only a couple CG. Still though, lightning is lightning and thunder is thunder. I will take it over snow anyday! I wasn't home at the time so the only radar shot I saved was from the app on my cell phone. A CG icon can be seen near Palos Heights.

Naturally, this only makes me long for more frequent and stronger storms and gets me excited for the upcoming season. Preliminary thoughts see it being much better than 2012 for the pure fact I won't be as financially stressed as I was during 2012 and now that I am better established at work I can get more time off to chase, so those two facts alone should increase my success.

Now the weather cooperating is another story. Its too early to tell. Many are worried about the still ongoing drought but I am not as big of a doomsday sayer since much of the country has seen a good snowfall over the winter. Even parts of west Texas which were bone dry managed to get more snow than Chicago. It seems moisture is returning to the US, albeit slowly. So as always, we'll just wait and see...

1 comment:

ELY M. said...

I did got first thunderstorm of 2013 in SE MN. so lovely lightning!