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Mild Temperatures Now Don't Mean a Sizzling Summer Later

The record-setting temps are unusual for March, but a National Weather Service meteorologist says in the big picture it's not so strange.

Crocuses are popping up everywhere, days of potentially record-setting heat lie ahead — and it’s not even St. Patrick’s Day yet.

But that’s not the only good news about this week’s lovely weather: Warm temperatures now don’t necessarily mean we’ll be sweating come summertime.

“It’s completely unrelated,” said Gino Izzi, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville.

While the early warmth is odd, he said in the grand scheme of things it’s not that unusual to have a burst of unexpectedly warm days before spring officially starts. 

“These things happen,” he said.

Wednesday’s predicted high temperature, a record-setting 78 degrees, is due to an upper-level ridge of high pressure hanging around the Chicago area, Izzi said.

While “record-setting” implies abnormal, he said that outlier temperatures aren’t actually all that strange.

“Normal is just the average of all the extremes that happen,” he said. It’s true, however, that this week’s temperature trend is at the upper reaches of the continuum for March, Izzi said.

Temperatures are expected to stay in the 70s for the rest of the week, so rather than worry about global warming, it’s time to get out there and enjoy this bonus dose of spring. 

Kent Frederick March 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I did hear Tom Skilling say the other day that some of the computer models for the long-term are indicating a warmer than normal summer.
Bob B March 14, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Hopefully those are the same computers that had our winter being much snowier than normal.

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