Currently in Chicago — May 18th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Cooler Wednesday but 80s are coming back soon

Takeaways for Chicago's weather:

1. A Cooler & Wet Wednesday

2. 80s Return

3. Cooling Off For The Weekend

Wet at times but not a washout for Wednesday with occasional showers.  Cooling off too with highs slipping back into the middle to upper 60s. 80s are back Thursday and Friday with the return of some rain Friday in the form of scattered showers and thunderstorms. More clouds and cooler Saturday with some scattered showers and highs in the lower 60s.  More sun Sunday but still below average with highs in the middle 60s.

Tim McGill

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What you need to know, currently.

As climate change and global warming grows, homes in the East Coast are facing an increasing risk of wildfires during the next 30 years.

Anyone renting or buying a house could, historically, look up its flood risk. However, for wildfire risks, homeowners were on their own. But now, thanks to a report and accompanying wildfire risk model produced by nonprofit First Street Foundation – which is the nation’s first and only property specific wildfire risk model – there is now information about wildfire risk across the lower 48 states.

The map also reveals wildfire intensity and how the risk will change as the environment continues to warm. The “Fire Factor” risk score will be included in residential real estate listing sites, like realtor.com, making the information more accessible to homeowners across the nation.

To create the report and map tools, the nonprofit ran computer models and simulated how wildfire spreads across different landscapes under different conditions.

The report finds about 80 million properties are at some level of wildfire risk during the next 30 years. 20.2 million properties face a “moderate” risk, or up to a 6 percent risk of a wildfire. 6 million properties face a “major” risk, or 6-14 percent risk of a wildfire, while about 1.5 million properties face “extreme risk,” or more than 26 percent risk. A total of 49.4 million properties face a “minor” risk, or a less than 1 percent chance of experiencing a wildfire over the next three decades.

According to the report, states like California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Oklahoma are among the states most at risk of a wildfire. But, the Midwest and East Coast are also facing an increasing risk, as climate change spreads.

But, according to experts, there are steps that homeowners can take to make their homes safer against fire risks, like using fire-resistant building materials, removing vegetation or debris from the roof, windows and deck and making sure that all combustible materials are 30 feet away from the house, to name a few.

And now, you can know your wildfire risk too.

— Aarohi Sheth