Friday, March 7, 2008

Wintry micromanagement

Today our lakeshore microclimate was on display. I departed the Southwest Side to mostly cloudy skies. In the distance, Loop skyscrapers were engulfed in a snow shower as seen from I-55 near Kedzie. Flurries fell on the commute home along the lakefront. Winds right now are from the north-northeast and lake-effect snow drawn from Lake Michigan waters is grazing the Illinois shore of the lake. Using Weather Underground's new Wunder Map feature, I see that northwest suburban Arlington Heights, several miles inland, has overcast skies right now.

These little disturbances lead to peculiar circumstances. A couple weeks back, a radio report specifically mentioned that a snow squall was approaching Montrose Point. Sure enough there were a few flurries in the air here that morning but nowhere else in Chicago.

Microclimate, though, is a bankrupt term. Isn't everywhere a microclimate with its unique geographic and meteorologic features?

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