Area rainfalls from the current storm moving on to one inch Thursday afternoon. Some colder air riding strong winds into the area could lead to some left-over sprinkles or snowflakes Thursday but no significant accumulation.

The storm’s main snow has fallen in Iowa and north of us in sections of Wisconsin with as much as 7″ reported down in the Dodgeville area southwest of Madison.

Beautiful, mild weekend

Clouds are to linger into Friday morning but clearing is due Friday afternoon and sunshine is to be abundant in what looks to be a beautiful, unseasonably mild weekend (by February standards).

High temps are to surge back into the 40s–a temp level we hold into early next week.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

Morn rain next week & potential second storm system

 as the next precip maker threatens rain later Tuesday and Tuesday night. Temps at that level are more than 10-deg above normal (normal highs this time of year are in the mid 30s).

More intriguing as we look out longer range and apt to most closely watched of all weather developments predicted to take shape over the coming week is a second potential storm system which is behind some interesting model forecasts, some hinting at a snowstorm potential somewhere close-by worthy of monitoring.

A few words on that potential system. First–it’s way off and much can happen. Still, I’ve looked upstream at the system creating some model “excitement” later next week.

A couple of sobering observations which must be stressed. For one, this system sits 4,700 miles west/northwest of Chicago way out in the Northern Pacific halfway between Japan and the Aleutian Islands of western Alaska. That’s a long way from here. Lots can happen between now and next Thursday.

Also worthy of note is the fact it’s seven days away. History has shown this is a distance in time which introduces additional certainty.

But having said that, its interesting that the latest medium range ensemble models of the National Weather Service, the European Center and Environment Canada spin up a low pressure of some significance in by the time the system moves into the Central U.S. and indicate its precip system gets closer to producing snow–if not here in Chicago, perhaps not far off.

Associated with this system currently out in the north pacific at the moment is is what’s being analyzed as a 185 mph jet stream speed max (what meteorologists refer to as a “jet streak”). Those are some strong winds quite capable of producing an “atmospheric stir” if they so choose and as they continue moving eastward and enter the lower 48 in the coming week.

So we have something to watch. Whether it turns into something real or good poof–time will tell. But in a cold season with a track record of sub-par snow production—we’ve got the 5th least snowy winter to date of the past half century going—so the suspicion this season could, at some point, have “another shoe to drop” wouldn’t be terribly surprising. Stay tuned.