After the recent snowfall over the Midwest, bright sunshine and warmer temperatures have returned. It was interesting to note the difference the snow cover was making in the afternoon temperatures. The grapahic from the College of DuPage shows a combination of temperature (red lines) and the snow cover in white. Notice how the temperature gradient (red lines) is pretty packed south of the snow where temperatures become progressively warmer the farther south you go away from the snow chilled ground. However, over the snow cover the temperature gradient is much weaker as temperatures are fairly uniform, held down by the snowpack.
The sunshine will fade tomorrow as the clouds coming north over Missouri move over the area. The clouds represent a return of moisture ahead of a deepening storm over the Plains. The storm will bring rain and warmer air over the Midwest. For Chicago, highs will jump into the 40s Saturday and the low 50s on Sunday ahead of a cold front. Average rainfall amounts of between 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch are expected over the metro area.
After the front moves through later Sunday, highs on Monday will only cool to the upper 30s. Highs will return to the 40s for the middle of next week as the upper level flow becomes more zonal (west to east). The zonal flow means the cold Canadian air will be held up north. Normal high now for Chicago is up to 43 and rising, so normal temperatures are in store for the area.
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