Skilling’s Weekend Forecast: Finally! Seasonable temperatures

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It’s about time!

Temperatures are finally responding to the barrage of stronger sunlight which pours down on the area this time of year. March sunlight delivers nearly three and a half times the solar energy of December sun and its impact on the degree of warming which takes place each day can be dramatic.

The trick is to get the sun to shine so all that energy can translate into higher temperatures. That’s precisely what happened Thursday.

In a month which has produced 20 percent less sun than typical — 39% versus the normal of 49% of Chicago’s possible sun — the appearance of a full day of uninterrupted sun translated into warming which propelled Chicago area temperatures to a 51-degree high, the warmest reading here in 18 days.

And even milder temperatures are on the way Friday when 54-degrees is predicted. Cool easterly “lake breezes” are likely to limit immediate shoreline readings to the low 40s.

But the warmest temperature we’re likely to see in the next 7 days is predicted Saturday, a day which, if meteorological elements fall into place as it appears they may, could host 2013’s second 60-degree daytime high — or a reading very close to 60.

Curious about the weather for the next seven days? Watch Tom’s 7-day forecast:

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