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Above-Normal Temps in Chicago; Amazon Drought; Solar Eclipse in April

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  • We’re through 72 days of meteorological winter and only 11 of them have been colder than average.  The Chicago area started the season much warmer than normal. 
  • Only two days in December were colder than average and the month ended 8.5 degrees warmer than normal.
  • Seemingly, all of our winter chill happened in a nine-day stretch in January. 

It’s been a perfect ten so far in February, with every day seeing above average daily temperatures.  An early spring-like feel has the month more than 14 degrees warmer than average.  To date, this is one of Chicago’s warmest winters, but there’s still more than three weeks left, so plenty can change before March.

Daily temperatures were as much as 28 degrees below average during that nearly week-and-a-half period.  Even with that cold blast, the other 22 warmer than average days were enough to help the month end slightly above normal.

  • Droughts in the Amazon are frequent during El Niño—the phenomenon where water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator become unusually warm
  • El Niños typically develop during the summer months and reach their peak intensity during the subsequent winter
  • El Niños is a natural cycle that occurs approximately every 2 to 7 years on average.

A preliminary analysis conducted by experts from the World Weather Attribution project, based on observations and computer model simulations, indicates that human-induced global warming played a significantly larger role than El Niño in exacerbating the 2023 Amazon drought. CONTINUE READING

With this ocean warming comes shifts in rainfall distribution across the tropics. Although the specifics vary between El Niño events, the Amazon typically experiences reduced rainfall, especially during strong El Niño events. In 2023, however, the rainfall deficits coincided with extreme heat, exacerbating soil evaporation and drying.


Sunglasses won’t cut it. Special eclipse glasses are crucial for safely observing the sun as the moon marches across the late morning and afternoon sky, covering more and more and then less and less of our star. 



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