Monday marks the official start of spring in Chicago, and as many look ahead to warmer months, what can they expect?
Will it be hotter than normal? Wetter than normal?
According to the long-range predictions from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, while April, May and June will see equal chances of above- or below-average temperatures, with the exception of some southern portions of the area and northwest Indiana "leaning above," it's the precipitation that should grab interest.
Those months are expected to see above-average precipitation across the region.
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Last month, the Old Farmer's Almanac released a similar spring 2023 forecast, saying "spring as a whole has the potential to be a warmer-than-normal period across much of the U.S."
It notes there may be some "pockets of chillier air" across some portions of the U.S., but the Midwest isn't among those locations and is expected to "lean toward the milder side."
As for rain, the almanac also predicts precipitation will "be on the wet side."
The spring equinox, or the time in which spring officially begins, is slated to take place at 4:24 p.m. CT Monday.
Although meteorological seasons are typically defined as periods of three months beginning at the start of every third month, astronomical season are aligned with biannual equinoxes and solstices.
The vernal and autumnal equinoxes mark the beginning of spring and fall, while the winter and summer solstices define the astronomical start of those seasons respectively.
What about summer?
The Climate Prediction Center shows the region is projected to see temperatures "leaning above" average, with continued chances for above-average precipitation through the month of July.
Similarly, the Farmer's Almanac predicts warm-to-hot and soggy summer conditions for all of Illinois this year.
"Across a swath covering parts of the Rockies, Plains, Midwest, and east to the Mid-Atlantic Coast, there will be occasional bouts of heavy precipitation, primarily from showery rains and big thunderstorms," the prediction states.
Still, many meteorologists caution against such far out predictions as they can be unreliable.
For now, the Chicago area looks to kick off spring in typical fashion: with milder temps and wet conditions possible for several days this week.
Skies are expected to be mostly cloudy on Monday, with highs reaching near 50 degrees. From there, rainfall is likely in the middle of the week with highs approaching the mid 50s.
See the full forecast from the NBC 5 Storm Team here.