Chicago can expect more unseasonably mild weather Monday.
The city’s forecast includes sunny skies and highs in the mid-to-low 50s to start the week, though storms in the days ahead could bring sleet and snow, according to the National Weather Service.
“We’re going to definitely continue to be above average here. We’re kind of stuck in this warm pattern,” NWS meteorologist Kevin Birk said.
Temperatures are expected to drop to lows in the mid-30s Monday evening, with clear skies set to remain.
The warmth is expected to return Tuesday, with a forecast high of 50 degrees, but possible afternoon showers and likely late-night rain will cloud the skies, the NWS predicts. Strong winds with gusts as high as 40 mph are forecast. The winds are expected to remain Wednesday with partly sunny skies and a high near 50 degrees.
A second storm system is expected Wednesday night, bringing a possible snow-rain mix to the area with snow likely Thursday. Highs will drop to the mid-30s, NWS forecasters said.
The snowy conditions are expected to be roughly divided by I-55, with snow or rain and snow anticipated to the north and mainly rain to the south.
“Depending on the exact track it takes, there could be some accumulating snow over Northwest Illinois and into Wisconsin,” Birk said. Thunderstorms could affect central Illinois, but Chicagoans can expect “probably not a lot in the way of snow,” he added.
Temperatures are expected to drop to as low as 18 degrees Thursday night with “blustery” conditions and stay below 30 degrees Friday before rising back into the mid-40s during the day.
With average mid-February highs at 35 degrees, this week’s high marks are once again warmer than normal.
“The February warmth continues,” the NWS wrote on Twitter.
Still, Birk thinks precipitation and storm systems mean Chicago “could get active again” heading into the later part of the month and early March, with the area’s weather possibly moving back into a colder pattern.
“Beyond Monday, it’s possible that incoming precipitation and cold air could come, but it’s hard to tell now,” he said.