Mild temperatures to persist

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Considering that this is, on average, the coldest part of the winter, our temperatures for the next seven days will be mild. Afternoon highs in the 40s should prevail, but the Chicago metropolitan area will lie in a zone of sharp temperature contrasts. It will be cooler to the north and much warmer to the south and west. Easterly winds blowing off the chilly waters of Lake Michigan are to play a big role in area temperatures for much of the seven-day forecast period. That means highs in the mid and upper 30s or low 40s in the north suburbs along the lake, but afternoon readings in the 50s, even 60 degrees, are likely to the south. Two rainy periods will occur: the first  Thursday night into Friday and the second on Monday. Note that no snow appears in the Chicago forecast, a disappointment to snowbirds but easy to take for others.