With mostly clear skies, light winds and a solid snow cover, temps will still be pretty cold to start the day Wednesday – single-digit above and below zero with sub-zero wind chills. However the second straight day with abundant sunshine will help readings moderate a bit into the middle 20s by afternoon.
We leave behind a January that featured the 10th warmest January in weather records dating back to 1871 – finishing more than 7-degrees above normal. It also was a very cloudy January – in fact it was the least-sunniest January in Chicago sunshine records dating back to 1894. The 18% of possible sunshine was less than half of normal (40%) and just 2% shy of tying November 1985 for our cloudiest month ever.
Clouds will increase somewhat Thursday as a cold front moves through from the north, carrying a brief but very cold push of Arctic-source air that will leave us with a chilly Friday. However winds will turn southerly Saturday, initiating a period of warming that will see readings reach into the 40s by early next week.