Mild weekend readings to set the stage for thunderstorms

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The warming is to continue into the coming weekend, culminating in the warmest daytime readings of the past five Saturday/Sunday periods—including unseasonably mild mid to upper 60s-degree readings Sunday.Temperatures at that level amount to a 48-degree 4 day increase from Wednesday morning’s 20-degree low at O’Hare to the 68 degree high predicted Sunday.Severe weather may become issue this weekend, particularly later Sunday as a cold front ushering the next powerful surge of arctic air approaches. Model rainfall estimates currently average 1 inch.The warming brings an end the area’s coldest temperatures in 8 months. Wednesday morning’s lows dipped to the teens in many inland locations and bottomed out at 20 at O’Hare—a reading well below the normal low of 34 degrees.

Temperatures as cold as that have occurred this early in the season in only 35 of the past 143 years—just 24% of the years for which records have been kept in Chicago.

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