After nearly a week of summer-like temperatures, the Chicago area is seeing some sweeping changes, with gusty winds, rain and much cooler temps on tap to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.
Things will get started on Thursday as a storm system moves through the region. That system will bring severe weather to parts of eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, but the impact will be felt closer to the Chicago area as well, with rain and gusty winds expected to arrive Thursday afternoon.
The gusty winds are the big threat with the system, with some gusts potentially reaching up to 60 miles per hour at times, but there is still a “marginal” risk of severe weather in southern parts of the NBC 5 viewing area, including LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois. Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana also fall in that category, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Aside from the winds, rain is expected to become more widespread through the afternoon and evening hours, and will likely stick around through Friday morning, with occasional thunderstorms possible throughout the region.
While the chance for rain will remain in the forecast for Friday, the big change will be the temperature, which is going to plummet to some of the lowest levels the area has seen in years. According to NBC 5 Storm Team Meteorologist Paul Deanno, the forecasted high for Chicago on Friday is just 54 degrees, with a breeze off Lake Michigan fueling the cooldown.
That temperature would be the seventh-coolest recorded on May 28, with the all-time record of 47 degrees set all the way back in 1884.
Temperatures will be warmer away from the lake, but not too much warmer, climbing into the 60s in some locations.
The rain will finally move out by Saturday, but one more day of cool temperatures is expected, with highs in the 60s through most of the region. Temperatures will begin to climb back into the 70s by Sunday, with sunny skies helping to create potentially the best weather day of the holiday weekend.
On Monday, highs will once again reach into the 70s, but the chance of rain will return as well, especially in the evening hours.