January Ends on Warm Note

Typical highs on January 31 flirt with freezing mark

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012  |  Updated 8:57 PM CDT
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Chicago temperature reaches mid-50s on final day of January, a date where the normal high is 32.

Chicago temperature reaches mid-50s on final day of January, a date where the normal high is 32.

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We didn't reach the 65-degree record set on Jan. 31, 1989, but unseasonable highs had Chicagoans going out without mittens and scarfs.

The official high temperature Tuesday, recorded at O'Hare International Airport, was 57 degrees.

That was warm enough to create scenes all around the city that are more suited for April: sand castles on the beach, mounds of ice and snow slowly diminishing and joggers wearing shorts.

"I just know that it's a great day and it makes people happy and it brings people out," said one woman along North Avenue Beach.

The day was a far cry from exactly one year ago, when meteorologists were in full "prepare and protect" mode, warning residents of an impending snowstorm. And it was bad; the third-largest snowstorm in Chicago history, to be exact.

Tuesday's highs won't stick around, however. The night ushers in a possibility for some rain and Wednesdays temperatures are likely to be in the mid-40s.

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