Sprinkles, some mixed snowflakes and gusty winds linger beneath the backside of Thursday rainy weather system which have produced 1.14″ of rain at Midway and 0.92″ at O’Hare—making it the wettest weather system in Chicago in over a month.

The same storm has produced a significant snow from eastern Iowa into Wisconsin with 7″ down at Dodgeville—west of Madison—and 6″ down at Barneveld, WI. Madison itself has a fresh cover of snow measuring 5.5″ and Platteville, WI sits beneath a 5″ cover of snow.

Clouds linger into Friday morning. But the sun should emerge Friday afternoon and lead the Chicago area into a beautiful weekend.

The coming weekend is to average nearly 7-deg warmer than last and to feature generous sunshine and mild Pacific air with highs in the 40s——44-Saturday and 48 Sunday. The Sunday forecast high would come in 12-deg above normal.

Once tonight’s lingering sprinkles and flurries exit, the Chicago area is free of precipitation until next week–But an ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN awaits the area with rains arriving on the scene Tue afternoon and/or night into Wed morning.

And a SECOND POTENTIAL STORM SYSTEM is garnering attention as a potential snow producer a swath of the Midwest—possibly close to if not over Chicago. BUT IT’S A LONG WAY OFF and details at this distance are best understood as VERY PROVISIONAL.

Having said that, the system which has ensemble forecast models from at least three major meteorological centers operated by the National Weather Service, the European Centre and from Environment Canada—all have precip with this system centered on next Thursday and put Chicago close to the critical rain/snow line, which is often the point at which a system’s significant snow occurs—so the evolving forecasts on the potential late winter storm system will be interesting to watch.

The system in question left the Eurasian continent and swept out over the north Pacific east of Japan. It’s currently located 4,700 miles and a week from Chicago—halfway between Japan and the Aleutian Islands of far western Alaska. Current North Pacific upper air analyses have a formidable 185 mph swath of jet stream winds with it.

It’s distance from Chicago—both in terms of mileage and days to its arrival—mean any projection of its future movement will require a good deal of refinement. So we just flag the period around next Thursday as a period to watch—which we’ll be doing and updating.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

TONIGHT: Blustery and modestly colder with some passing sprinkles or brief showers of light rain or snow. Low 29.

FRIDAY: Morning clouds clear in the afternoon allowing sunshine to emerge. Breezy and chilly. High 34.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Becoming clear and chilly. Low 25.

SATURDAY: Sunny, a bit breezy and milder. High 44.

SUNDAY: Sunshine and some mixed afternoon clouds. Unseasonably mild. High 48—a temp 12-deg above normal.

MONDAY: Early clouds give way to sunshine. Breezy and mild. High 45.

TUESDAY: Clouding over. Chance of late day rain. Temps continue well above normal tough a southeast wind will reduce shoreline highs a bit. High 46 inland—upper 30s to around 40 along Lake Michigan.

WEDNESDAY: Clouds hang in there. Some morning rain showers possible. Still mild. High 49.

THURSDAY: Snowy, windy and colder. Mixed precip possible south. System’s intensity will have to be monitored. High 35 with strong northeast winds possible.