Currently in Chicago — May 27th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Takeaways for Chicago's weather:

"Summer" ready to surge in by Sunday.
  1. Some Spotty Friday Showers
  2. Grab The Shades For The Weekend
  3. Steamy By Sunday

We end the week with some spotty showers on Friday under mostly cloudy skies. Highs slip back into the lower 60s inland with just middle 50s along the lakefront. More May sunshine is expected this weekend from Saturday through Memorial Day. Highs bounce just above average Saturday, with upper 70s expected followed by middle 80s on Sunday and then 90 degrees or above expected Monday and Tuesday. Higher humidity is coming too so heat index values may be at least well into the 90s by Memorial Day.

Tim McGill

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What you need to know, currently.

Six idle wells in Bakersfield were found to be leaking methane last week, the Associated Press reports. Although Uduak-Joe Ntuk, head of the California Geologic Energy Management division of the California Department of Conservation, assured residents that the leaks were “minor in nature,” a report from the state showed that three wells were leaking methane at explosive levels.

Methane is a colorless, odorless gas that’s about 25 times as potent as CO2 when it comes to global warming. It’s also quite obviously a public safety hazard—even if it’s not leaking in concentrations high enough to blow up your house it can cause long-term respiratory, cardiological, and neurological issues and sometimes result in death.

A recent report in Environmental Science and Technology found that wells across New Mexico were emitting about six times as much methane as the EPA expected. Plugging all these abandoned wells isn’t easy, especially the older ones. Theoretically, oil and gas companies are obligated to plug wells when they go dry, but lax regulations and the boom and bust nature of the oil gas industry means there’s little oversight when this infrastructure is abandoned.

A report published in Environmental Research Letters last year, showed that curbing methane emissions could reduce the speed of global warming by as much as 30 percent.