Satellite imagery and surface observations Friday afternoon showed a rare event for mid-February: Nearly clear skies from the western Great lakes, westward across the Rockies. In contrast to the storminess of the past week, tranquil weather is expected across much of the central U.S. through the weekend as inclement conditions stay north of the Great Lakes and across the deep South. Friday featured 100% possible sunshine bringing Chicago’s February’s total to 66% heading into mid-month, well above the normal of 47%. Similar sky conditions are to continue, though some high clouds may arrive by late Sunday. The abundant sunshine and snow-free ground will enable daytime temps to average about 12 degrees above normal over the weekend. Unsettled weather is expected to make a return next week. Rain is forecast Tuesday into Tuesday night, with a more significant system due to bring another soaking Wednesday night into Thursday.