Both Chicago and Rockford on Wednesday saw record-breaking temperatures, which are still expected to rise before midnight.
According to the National Weather Service, high temperatures in Rockford reached 69 degrees Wednesday, while Chicago hit 65 degrees.
The last time Rockford and Chicago hit record-high temperatures in the 60s on Dec. 15 was in 1971, the National Weather Service reported. Temperatures could still increase Wednesday evening.
Weather officials noted that Rockford's 69 degrees on Wednesday also tied with the all-time record high for the month of December, which was originally set Dec. 3, 2021.
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Due to "damaging winds" expected throughout the Chicago area Wednesday evening, Chicago-area residents are urged to secure all outdoor holiday decorations and lighter outdoor furniture.
"Secure any outdoor decorations, including holiday decorations, and lighter outdoor furniture," the National Weather Service said in a warning.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 9 a.m. Thursday for parts of north-central and northeast Illinois.
The following counties are included in the wind warning: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, LaSalle, Kendall.
Winds are expected to reach 30 to 35 mph, with some gusts sweeping through the Chicago area at 60 mph. Officials said the most damaging, high winds are expected overnight between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday.
The wind gusts could blow down trees and power lines, officials warned, with "widespread power outages" possible.
The National Weather Service advised cautioned while driving in windy conditions, especially on highways and open roads. Residents are asked to avoid the outdoors during the warning, specifically in forested areas and around trees.
The National Weather Service warned that people should remain on lower levels of their homes and avoid windows during the windstorm.