The Chicago area is expected to stay rain-free through Friday as temperatures undergo a gradual day-to-day increase. Highs are forecast to average more than 8 degrees above normal. This comes as good news, especially across northern portions of the metro area where the Fox and Des Plaines rivers remain in flood following last weekend’s downpours. The main stem of the Des Plaines is forecast to drop below flood stage Thursday night, while the Fox, at McHenry and Algonquin, has yet to crest, and will remain in flood for several days. Our next chance of rain is slated for Saturday night and Sunday in association with a cold frontal passage. Monday marked the 8th straight day to post a temperature surplus, and the month is now running more than 2 degrees above normal. Temperatures in the wake of the cold front are to remain mild, averaging 6 to 8 degrees above normal, through September 26th.