Get ready for a pre-Mother's Day chill across the Chicago area with winter-like temperatures expected later this week and a Freeze Watch in effect early Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service issued the Freeze Watch for the entire Chicago metro area, including northwest Indiana, from midnight Friday until 8 a.m. on Saturday, following what likely will be a cold couple days.
Temperatures are expected to begin falling along the lakefront late Thursday afternoon and inland by the evening.
A few sprinkles or spotty showers are possible late Thursday evening in far southwest counties as a system approaches from the west. That system likely will only produce a few scattered light rain showers in counties south of I-80 and be gone by dawn.
Friday will look and feel more like winter with a brisk wind gusting to 30-plus mph and temperatures in the upper 30s along the lake and low to mid 40s inland.
A few light rain and snow showers or graupel will be possible, and strong winds could produce large waves, minor flooding and beach erosion along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Clearing skies set the stage for frost to form as temperatures fall into the upper 20s in our coldest inland locations where a hard freeze appears likely and will kill any unprotected vegetation.
The rest of the area likely will be closer to 30 or 32 degrees, which will cause a freeze and may damage plants but not kill as many.
Chicago should remain just above freezing, so a freeze looks less likely.
Mother's Day weekend shows highs in the low to mid 50s on Saturday and Sunday with overcast conditions and possible light rain showers.