St. Patrick's Day brought Chicago a lucky, but brief glimpse of spring-like weather and 70-degree temperatures ahead of a twist in conditions: a rapid cool down, widespread rainfall and potential thunderstorms.
High temperatures along the lakefront reached the high 50s to low 60s, early Thursday afternoon, with some spots even in the 70s, according to NBC 5 Storm Team Meteorologist Paul Deanno.
A lake breeze returned by late afternoon, causing temperatures along the lakefront to drop to the 40s. The cold is poised to take over as the day winds down, resulting in 30- to 40-degree temperatures throughout the evening.
Along with the chilly weather, scattered showers are set to return overnight, increasing as the time goes on and leading to steady, widespread rainfall by Friday, according to forecasters.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
"Very soggy" conditions will be on tap in the afternoon and evening hours, with temperatures only in the upper 30s to low 40s at points.
Rain and drizzle will continue through Friday night as temperatures drop even more. Thunderstorms aren't expected overall, however, communities mainly south of Pontiac and Rensselaer, Indiana, are listed under "a limited thunderstorm risk," according to the National Weather Service.
It may be so cold by early Saturday, just above the freezing mark, that snowflakes could mix in with the rainfall.
The Chicago area will eventually get a break once the rain clears Saturday afternoon.
Sunday, the official start of spring, will be a fairly appropriate day to kick off the season, with comfortable conditions and temperatures well into the 50s or low 60s.
A second pleasant day will be on tap as the work week begins Monday, with a high temperature of 60 degrees.
Another storm won't be too far off, though.
Rain, as well as a mix of rain and snow, are possible during the middle of next week, according to the NWS.