After a foggy break following a record cold snap, the Chicago area is once again in for a wild stretch of weather that could see temperatures climb into the 50s before plunging 30 degrees in a matter of hours.
Wednesday remains overcast and could see some drizzle with much of the region under a Dense Fog Advisory through 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures will steadily rise thanks to warm winds from the south bringing the region into the mid-40s by Wednesday afternoon and even the upper-40s by late evening. While overcast conditions will continue overnight, with more fog, drizzle and spotty showers possible, temperatures will keep climbing into the low 50s by sunrise.
The strongest push of warm air will hit the Chicago area by early Thursday afternoon, keeping high temperatures well into the 50s ahead of a major cold front and an accompanying dramatic drop.
The record high for Chicago on Jan. 11 is 61 degrees, and while some parts could reach 57 or 58 degrees, the temperatures will come close but not break a record.
With the warmer temperatures also comes a chance for rain across the area throughout the day on Thursday.
Temperatures will then tank quickly into the 20s and even the teens by late evening, a fall of more than 30 degrees in just a few hours. A rain/snow mix could be possible late Thursday for the far south suburbs and northwest Indiana.
Friday will start dry for much of the Chicago area while the evening could bring lake effect snow for northeast Illinois, moving east Saturday morning to hit northwest Indiana by the afternoon.
Another dry start on Sunday could once again turn into snow in the evening, with temperatures in the teens and air cold enough for all precipitation to be snow - not a slushy or rainy mix - that will bring roughly two inches to the Chicago area through Monday morning.