By Meghan Evans
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — AccuWeather.com reports Chicago has set seven record highs in a row with temperatures climbing above normal for July 4 on Tuesday, March 20, the first day of spring.
The high soared to 85 degrees March 20, shattering the old record high of 76 degrees for the date set way back in 1921. The normal high for March 20 in Chicago is 48 degrees, while the normal high July 4 is 84 degrees.
High temperatures have been more than 15 degrees above normal in Chicago for 10 straight days, since March 10. The average temperature so far this month is 16.6 degrees above normal.
What is causing the unusual summerlike warmth?
The jet stream has been located far to the north across central and eastern Canada, allowing mild air to surge into the eastern two thirds of the nation. A large dome of high pressure dominating over the western Atlantic off the East Coast has been acting as a pump of warm air.
“At least two-thirds of the nation could wind up with above-normal temperatures [this spring],” Paul Pastelok, expert long-range meteorologist and leader of the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team, said late in February. He forecast there could be the most widespread warmth this spring since 2004.
Posted March 21, 2012