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What's Up with the Weather?

Rogers Parker

I'm writer, social media maven & tail-end baby boomer.

UPDATE:  21:58, 11-08-10

"Sunny days | Sweeping the clouds away"

Seriously, has Chicago magically been transported to the Sesame Street set?! In my entire life I do not remember a fall in Chicago as fabulously sunny and beautiful as this one. According to WGN, October was the sunniest month in Chicago on record--and the report is dated OCTOBER 21!

Not that I'm complaining and I hope the weather stays this sunny and fabulous through the holidays, but as a lifelong Chicagoan it certainly makes me wonder. I keep waiting for the gloomy, gray, damp and rainy weather we are usually subjected to by this time of year to fall upon us in the same way ginkgo trees shed their leaves: womp! All at once.

Instead, we have been waking up to wall-to-wall blue skies and sunshine--day after day after day. I make a point of being grateful and NOT taking it for granted 'cause I know it's a fluke that can end at any moment.

Is It High-Pressure Systems?
The only report I've found so far for October shows that Oct. 1-21 experienced 86 percent sunny weather--and WGN reports it is going to continue! An anomaly, they're calling it.

Jim Angel, PhD, the official climatologist for Illinois, said the the final figures for October sunshine dropped a bit from the Oct. 21 readings but were still considerably sunnier than normal. The official word from the Illinois State Climatologist Office is that October was 78 percent sunny up from its usual 58 percent. "It's like an extra sunny day a week," Angel said.

When asked to explain why we've been having such a sunny, dry fall, Angel said the region is being dominated by high pressure, which is blocking out storm systems. The bigger picture, Angel added, is that these types of weather systems produce warm and dry conditions. 

Or Government Conspiracy?
A gal I met while I was living in Michigan earlier this year will tell you it's the government's doing, that the U.S. government is dumping chemicals into the atmosphere on purpose in order to affect the weather and stave off global warming. This wiki provides an overview of this tinfoil hat theory. A blog I know nothing about, which I located through a Google search on the term "chemtrails Chicago," concurs with the Michigan woman's theory.

Gateway Centre_Rogers Park.jpg

Not a cloud in the sky at the Gateway Centre near Howard Street in Rogers Park. Conspiracy theorists insist we have the U.S. government to 'thank' for the fabulous fall weather we've been experiencing here in Chicago.

I remain skeptical: All "official" reports I have read say there is nothing to substantiate that chemicals are being released into the atmosphere via jet exhaust (i.e., contrails) to control global warming. My online research has found that the chemtrail conspiracy, also referred to as "atmospheric geoengineering," remains in the purview of relatively obscure branches off the mainstream.

Angel said it doesn't really make sense. "If they were going to spray chemicals at 40,000 feet, it would wind up...in Canada," Angel said.

Either Way, Enjoy It While It Lasts
In my tongue-in-cheek opinion, if scientists ARE dumping toxic chemicals into the atmosphere to control the weather and it results in day after day of blue skies and sunshine in November here in Chicago, I say, Go for it! ;-) But realistically speaking, Angel said the short-term forecast looks nice--sunny and warm--but next week should bring us the type of cold, gray, dreary weather Chicagoans are accustomed to in November.

In other words, he said, enjoy it while it lasts.

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