(CBS) — It got off to a late start, but summer has finally arrived. So, how long will it last? And what about fall and winter? CBS 2’s Megan Glaros says there may be a few surprises ahead.
What do you think about the summer here in Chicago so far?
“I think the summer is absolutely amazing,” says Shatina Daniels.
Not everyone agrees.
“All the rain and the 60 degree weather, so that’s pretty depressing when it comes to Chicago,” said Mike Gaynor.
June definitely wasn’t usual due in part to a dip in the jet stream allowing cool Canadian air to dip into Chicago.
High temperatures remained below normal for 19 out of 30 days and rainfall was almost four inches above normal.
Emerson Nafziger, an agronomist with the University of Illinois, says ,”A lot of extra rain in May and June is not really very good for the crop.”
Wet soil and cold have damaged the root systems for much of the soybean and corn crops. You can see it in the shorter, yellow stalks.
And the wet is affecting apples too, with a fungus called apple scab creating dark spots.
Kathy Bock owns Honey Hill Orchard. She says when you have apple scab, “The flavor is bad on it, it tastes musty.”
She also grows pumpkins.
“If they’re laying on wet ground, they’re going to start to rot,” she says.
The impact can be felt at area farmers markets this year too. The tomatoes, they were a couple of weeks late and all this green, but no spinach.
Emily Tuuk with Smits Farm explains.
“Usually we have spinach in the middle of June and so now we still don’t even have it because of the rain,” Tuuk said.
We asked experts at the Climate Prediction Center in Maryland about what we can expect for the next three months through October.
Jon Gottschalck, forecaster at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center says, “Most of Illinois is expected to see above average precipitation and cooler than normal conditions.”
Part of the reason why? All that wet soil leftover from June rains.
“That can lead to cooler than normal temperatures,” Gottschalck says.
And, what about winter?
“Hopefully it’s not going to be as cold as it was last year or as long as it was last year,” says Alisa Cunningham.
“There’s a greater than 90 percent chance that there’ll be El Nino through the winter months,” Gottschalk says.
And if El Nino is strong, it’s likely to mean a mild winter in Chicago due to warmer than normal water in the Pacific Ocean. That’s what happened in the winter of 1998.
January was almost six degrees warmer, with four 50 degree days in a row and February, almost set a record for warmth, 11 degrees above normal.
“I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be excited about a warmer winter, I mean right?” said Sarah Hargadon. “What’s not to like about that?”
As for precipitation this winter, the winter of 1998 could give us a clue.
That year, precipitation was above normal. However, we got a lot less snow, only about half as much as usual.