Unseasonable warmth to knock out Boxing Day record

Explainer

The Chicago area enjoyed a “southern” Christmas Wednesday as the city’s balmy highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s were typical of Christmas Day weather in the Gulf states.

The unseasonable warmth will continue Thursday with the Boxing Day 1971 record high of 55vexpected to tumble. Thursday will mark the city’s fifth straight 50-degree plus day, tying the record for late-December warmth, established in 1971 from December 23-27. The string of 50s should break Friday, though the highs in the middle 40s will still be nearly 15 degrees above normal.

The 50s will return for the weekend as Chicago lies in the warm sector of a winter storm slated to bring heavy snow to the upper Midwest. The bulk of the precipitation here should be liquid, with even a chance of thunder, but some flurries are possible Sunday night as colder air returns in the wake of the storm.

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