Chicagoans enjoyed 100% of the day’s possible sunshine Wednesday as February, 2023 got underway. The last time we’ve had a 100% sunny day was back on Christmas–Dec 25. That was 32-days ago!! Before that 100% sunny days occurred Dec 3rd & 4th.

Quite a change after coming off the cloudiest January in 129 years of record keeping dating back to 1894.

  • Temps took off in the sunshine Wednesday surging to a high of 27-deg—–a reading 15-deg higher than yesterday
  • With February underway, the length of potential sunshine each day continues rising. So do normal temps. While the normal high Feb 1 is 31—that will increase to 41 by month’s end on Feb 28. And the sun, which at solar noon, is 31-deg above the horizon, it will be located 40-deg above the horizon by month’s end. That means the sun is trekking across the sky higher and higher each day.
  • While we will gain 2 minutes and 16 sec additional daylight tomorrow (Thursday) compared to today—the 24 hour increase in possible daylight by Feb 28 will have risen to 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
  • We’ll pick up another 3-deg on our Chicago high temp Thursday reaching 30-deg. BUT—a cold frontal passage during the afternoon bring a gusty windshift into the area—winds which are to bring a strong surge of cold arctic air back into the area Thursday night and Friday. Wind gusts overnight into Friday morning are to build to 30 mph.
  • Temps will have begun falling in the final daylight hours of Thursday—ultimately dipping to 3-above in the city at O’Hare; sub-zero in the west and northwest suburbs (0 to 6-below) by Friday morning with daybreak wind chills Friday plummeting into the 10-below to 20-below range.
  • While Friday will be truly frigid and firmly in the grip of an impressive arctic high pressure with an eye-catching central pressure of 1046 mb (30.86″), the good news is—THE INTENSE COLD IS THE LAST in the most recent series of cold days. Temps are to SURGE over the weekend and going into next week.
  • While this week is to average 12-deg colder than last—a temp level 10-deg BELOW NORMAL, NEXT WEEK’S AVERAGE TEMP SURGES 20-DEG–a HUGE INCREASE. Next week’s average temp is to surge to a level nearly 9-deg ABOVE NORMAL with daytime 40s a good bet.
  • More active precip systems are to sweep the area. The first looks to be a rain shower producer Tuesday, A second wet storm system in the Thursdyay Friday time frame appears is a bit more problematic in terms of precip time with some modeling put Chicago closer to its critical RAIN/SNOW LINE. It will have to be monitored as will subsequent systems in the week which follows.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

TONIGHT: Clouds scatter and diminish, not quite as cold. Low 17.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, near seasonable temps into early afternoon. Turning windy with temps beginning to drop off the day’s high of 30.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, windy and markedly colder. Lows drop to 3-above in the city—zero to 5-below west and north. Chance of some Indiana lake snow flurries or snow showers. Wind chills dropping into the 10-below to 20-below range by Friday morning.

FRIDAY: FRIGID ARCTIC AIR’s BACK IN CONTROL. Noticeably colder! A good deal of sunshine and windy at the start. Some possible northwest Indiana lake effect clouds and flurries—mainly LaPorte county and east. High 12.

SATURDAY: Early sun—but clouding over, turning windy and noticeably milder. Highs surge to 37—a reading 25-deg warmer than Friday in the afternoon.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy to cloudy, windy and mild. High 40 for the season,

MONDAY: Clouding over, mild—but less windy. Chance of some rain showers—especially Monday night.High 45

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, mild and breezy. High 48.

WEDNESDAY: Good chance of rain. High 42.