Chicagoans shivered through one of February’s five coldest days today with a high making a move on 30-deg—a temp 13-deg colder than yesterday—and a high temp which came off a 19-deg low temp.

Milder weekend weather’s ahead. And for the second weekend in a row, temps are to surge into the low 50s away from Lake Michigan by Sunday after low 40s tomorrow (Saturday). NOT BAD for February—a time of year when the normal high is closer to 40-deg.  These are temps more typical of a month from now—in mid and late March!  

This weekend’s predicted high temps of 43 and 53-deg Sat and Sunday respectively are to come in at levels 4-deg and 13-deg above normal respectively, though lake winds will cool the lakeshore in the afternoon Sunday—continuing the warmer than normal trend which has dominated February, 2023. The month’s average temp is running 5-deg above normal and 6-deg warmer than the month’s opening 24 days a year ago.

Ice from Wednesday and Wed night’s ice storm has held on in many areas. Thursday and Friday night’s sunshine on the coating of ice had made for beautiful scenes as evidenced in many photos our viewers have passed my way.

The U.S. temp distribution and weather is fascinating. Overnight lows varied an eye-popping 112-deg—from lows of 35-below at Blackfeet, Browning and Valier, Montana to the 77-deg low temps in Marathon and Key West in the Florida Keys. The fresh cover of snow left by the multiday snowstorm which buried a swath of the country from the Rockies into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest has provided the highly reflected surface arctic air requires to make its move.  

The huge north to south lower 48 temp distribution features warmth which is breaking records in the south and east and frigid cold which is breaking records in the west. There were 61 record breaking warm highs recorded Thursday—and 10 record lows in Plains and Rockies. Interestingly, the warmth induced records outnumbered the record cold lows by a margin of 6 to 1 Thursday. There were 6 times as many record highs as record lows.

A disturbance is to bring some flurries into parts of the Chicago area tonight ahead of the warming weekend temps.

And the latest storm to charge southward on the West Coast has prompted rare blizzard warnings in the mountains around Los Angeles—with flood watches at lower elevations.

That storm is to sweep into the central U.S. over the weekend and deliver Chicago another round of heavy, wind-driven rains amid 50+ deg temps Monday.  This storm WON’T bring the freezing rain or ice of its predecessor.

But a second storm later next week will have to be monitored. Our models vary in their solutions of that system. But a colder atmosphere could make such a system a snow and wintry weather threat. It a week away—much can change—so there are many details to be worked out.  Still—indications the active weather pattern which has emerged and the parade of systems marching off the Pacific makes this one we’ll be watching.

Election Day is still looking dry in Chicago next Tuesday.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

TONIGHT: Cloudy spells may produce some snow flurries over parts of the area. Precip ends with partial clearing before daybreak. Cold—but not quite as cold as last night. Low 25.

SATURDAY: A good deal of sunshine, milder and modestly breezy by and during the afternoon. Highs 10 to 15-deg warmer than today reaching 43.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Scattered clouds, not as cold. Low 31.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny and milder—though a wind shift off Lake Michigan in the afternoon will cool the shoreline. High 53 inland but lowering to the low 40s lakeshore in the afternoon.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Turning windy and cloudy with rain developing. Low 38.

MONDAY: Rainy, windy and unseasonably mild. Chance of isolated thunder. Heavy rainfall totals of 1″ or more appear a good bet. High 55/

TUESDAY (Election Day): Sunshine returns-though cloud move in again in the afternoon, breezy. High 45—cooler lakeshore.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy, chance of some rain. Mild. High 49.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, cooler. High 41.

FRIDAY: Cloudy and windy. Chance for snow. High 37.