Which explains why it's just above freezing and pissing with rain.
Yesterday the temperature dropped from 15°C to 5°C in about 90 minutes as a cold front swept in from the north. Today we're living with the result.
Oddly, though, the current temperature (3°C) isn't that far from the normal March 1st temperature (4°C). So perhaps we shouldn't complain. But that taste of spring we got earlier this week made us all anxious for the real thing.
It's Chicago. The weather will change in a day or two.
I set a few Fitbit personal records yesterday.
First: it was the first time I've gotten 20,000+ steps three days in a row. Second: it was the fourth-best stepping day since I got a Fitbit (see below). Third: my 7-day total, 147,941, completely blew away the old record of 135,785 set on April 18th last year.
Here are my top-5 stepping days:
On the other hand, Chicago didn't set a weather record, and wasn't in any danger of doing so, despite what I said. I misread the chart: Chicago's record high for February 27th was 23.8°C set in 1975, not 16.7°C, which is the record high for February 28th—and we're in no danger of breaking that one, either. That said, it was, in fact, 16.7°C yesterday.
Today is the last day of meteorological winter, and a cold front is sneaking in from the north. Tomorrow promises to be everything yesterday was not: windy, rainy, and snowy in the evening. I can't wait.
We're now on the third day of spring weather even though spring doesn't technically begin (for climatologists, anyway) until Thursday. Yesterday we got up to 12°C, even more spring-like than Sunday's 10°C. (Those high temperatures are normal for March 31st and 23rd, respectively.)
Today's forecast high is 17°C—normal for April 24th and, if it actually happens, a new record for February 27th. (Note that the current record, 16.7°C, was set in 2016.)
Two things to note: first, weather ≠ climate, though you would be forgiven for freaking out at the Washington Post's latest news on the topic.
Second, this has given me a great opportunity to get steps in.
For the first time ever, I've gotten back-to-back 25,000-step days: 28,828 on Sunday and 28,293 yesterday. This included a lunchtime hike from my office to the end of the 606 Trail and back:
I've hit 25,000 steps only 15 times out of the 1,223 days I've had a Fitbit. That's 1.22%. For comparison, I've hit 20,000 steps only 66 times (5.56%), and 30,000 steps only 6 times (0.49%). I last hit 30,000 on May 27th (33,241), and last hit 25,000 (before Sunday) on August 29th (26,914).
So here's the question: can I do 30k today? Yes. But I'm not entirely sure how yet. Stay tuned.
Yesterday I did, in fact, hit 25,000 steps. I ended the day with 28,828. I considered going for one more 15-minute walk to hit 30,000, but decided I'd had enough for the day, and went to bed—and got 7½ hours of sleep.
This morning it was once again clear and crisp (but above freezing), so I walked to work, just over 6 km and one hour of walking, and about 7,000 steps. So at 11am, I've already got 9,200. With a forecast 11°C and an Apollo Chorus rehearsal 5 km away, I might hit 20,000 again today.
Tomorrow's forecast looks even better for walking. Wednesday looks OK, too. And then it will rain all day Thursday. Still, I'm confident of making a pretty good showing in a Fitbit challenge going on this week.
And as we have just a two more days of meteorological winter, I'm also ever more confident that January 1st will remain the coldest day of 2018. (We'll see what happens in late December.)
And with that, I'm off to Starbucks, and probably 10,000 steps before noon.
Finally! It's a clear, sunny, above-freezing day in Chicago with no snow left on the ground. So far I've gotten over 20,000 steps, and if I keep walking around various neighborhoods, I'll clear 25,000. (I've done that only 13 times since October 2014. I've hit 20,000 on 66 days, or about 5% of the time.)
Of course, that means not a lot of blog posting this weekend. Sorry.
So, this happened in Chicago yesterday afternoon:
That was in Chicago. I'm across the lake in southwest Michigan right now, and the cold front passage was no less abrupt here:
Actual photos coming soon.
It's crystal-clear and 20°C in Chicago right now, so blogging will lag a bit as I spend all of my free time outside.
The Tribune has a graphic up demonstrating how Chicago temperatures dropped 20°C in one day. We went from a high temperature of 28°C at 4pm Monday down to a morning low of 7°C by 7pm Tuesday.
I should mention that I had several windows open Monday night, and closed them around 4am. That helped a little, but it would have helped more had I turned the heat on.
Despite the colder weather, through yesterday I've had six consecutive days of 15,000+ steps, including two of better than 20,000. Today looks promising as well. Fitbit also has a new feature that awards a pip for each clock hour in which you get 250 or more steps, the idea being to get you off your ass. I've got my app set to count from 8am to 9pm. Since Friday, I've had 13 of 13 hours four of five possible days—and today looks pretty likely as well. (The trick is to take Parker for a walk at 5 minutes before the hour, which gets me two pips in 10 minutes.
Today's weather was finally spring-like, meaning twenty degrees warmer away from the lake than near it. But Parker still got over an hour of walkies, I've gotten (so far) about 18,000 steps, and all the windows in my house are open for the first time in about a month.
Also, I made a decent showing yesterday at a trivia tournament (tied for first place, but lost the tiebreaker), and today at a Euchre tournament (upper half of the pack, 7-2-1 overall record).
That is all. Time to feed the dog, and maybe walk another couple thousand steps.
After a much-warmer-than-normal early March, we've had typical Chicago weather for the first week of April. The Climate Prediction Center still says April might be warmer and drier than normal, but the 6-10 day outlook is just cold.
Today it doesn't know what to do. Walking from the train I got sun, snow, pellets, and mist. And it's barely 3°C.
So, it really is spring in Chicago, but I'd very much like the week we get (usually in May) when it's warm and sunny. Like we had at the beginning of March.