Chicagoans basked in early April-level temps Tuesday with highs temps which topped out at 55 deg at O’Hare and 54 at Midway. Those are readings six effectively six weeks earlier than in a typical year and the official O’Hare temp comes in 20-deg above normal.

Tuesday’s mild weather will continue as rain moves in Tuesday afternoon. Periods of rainfall overnight aren’t to produce huge amounts. Totals from 0.10″ to 0.25″ are anticipated—and a break in the precip with cloud breaks allowing mixed sun are predicted Wednesday amid the powerful west/southwest gusts.

Gusty winds overnight grow stronger Wednesday topping 50 mph at times.

A Wind Advisory has been issued for several counties from 3 a.m. to noon Wednesday. Cook, DuPage, Will, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois are included.

The week’s second system arrives in a colder temp regime Thursday and appears poised to produce February’s first measurable snow over a section of the Chicago metro area–precip which may start as a wintry mix and make the transition to wet snow.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for part of northern Illinois starting Wednesday night. Winnebago, Boone, McHenry and Ogle counties are included in the watch that last through Thursday. Heavy snow is possible with wind gusts up to 35 mph.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

Temps won’t be exceeding cold—but cold enough with precip likely to fall heavily enough an inch or two could accumulate in the city and several inches to the north of the city. Multi-model accumulation probabilities for the city proper look like this:

  • The chance of 2″ or more snow: 68%
  • 4″ or more: 40%
  • 6″ or more: Just 5%

Latest warnings and watches from the National Weather Service.

An average of the snowfalls projected by a set of models comes in at almost 1-3 inches over the city — heaviest north — with amounts tapering quickly heading south. But totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in harder hit northern counties along the Wisconsin line if the storm track currently prediction—running from Oklahoma into central Indiana verifies Thursday.