For the third consecutive day, Chicago’s unseasonably high temperatures broke records on Sunday.
At 1:02 p.m., the temperature at O’Hare International Airport hit 66 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. That balmy number just beat the record of 65 degrees set in 1930 – though temperatures on Sunday continued to climb, meaning the final record could be even higher.
About an hour before that, Rockford saw a temperature of 64 degrees, eclipsing the previous record that was also set in 1930. [[414209403, C]]
These temperatures marked the third day in a row that warmth in Chicago hit a new high for the area.
On Saturday, Rockford reached 59 degrees at 11:12 a.m., while O’Hare saw 63 degrees just 13 minutes later – breaking the record set in 1981.
Saturday’s temperatures continued to climb, and the city saw 70 degree warmth in February for just the fourth time since 1871, according to the National Weather Service.
The other times temperatures at O’Hare reached 70 degrees this month were 75 degrees on Feb. 27, 1976, 72 degrees on Feb. 25, 2000 and 70 degrees on Feb. 11, 1999 – meaning that in addition to being tied for the third highest temperature ever recorded in February, Saturday’s warmth was also the second earliest 70 degree reading in Chicago. [[407832135, C]]
At 1 p.m. on Saturday, the National Weather Service noted that O’Hare’s 68 degrees meant Chicago was warmer than Los Angeles (54 degrees), Phoenix, Arizona (60 degrees) and Tallahassee, Florida (63 degrees).
The weekend’s record-breaking streak began at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, when 62 degrees at O’Hare shattered the high set all the way back in 1880.
These temperatures continue the Chicago area's unseasonably snow-less, warm winter, and it looks as though they’ll stick around through the rest of the week. [[414159193, C]]
Monday could reach 60 degrees yet again, even as the chance for storms increases through the evening. Once the showers move out of the area by Tuesday afternoon, the warmth will likely return for what could be a fifth straight day of temperatures in the 60s.
The records for both Feb. 20 and 21 were set in 1930, at 64 and 67 degrees, respectively. The record for longest stretch of consecutive days in which Chicago saw temperatures above 60 degrees in February sits at four, set from Feb. 24 through 27 in 1976.
The city’s unusual warmth comes during a winter that has seen remarkably little snow. This January saw just 0.6 inches of snow well below, the month’s average snowfall of 5.2 inches. [[402534505, C]]
Through mid-December, the Chicago area saw 17.7 inches of snow, making the winter snow total 18.3 inches – 7.3 inches below average.
We could see the first flakes of the month by next weekend, as forecast models show an area of low pressure moving in amid rainstorms late Thursday, bringing in colder air and possibly snow.
High temperatures on Saturday, the coldest day of the week, could hover around 36 degrees before another warm up to start next week.