One record has fallen and another could be within reach today as the Chicago area enjoys unseasonably warm weather for late January.
Today is the warmest Jan. 29 in history, destroying an almost century-long record shortly before sunrise, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record of 59 degrees in 1914 was surpassed before 7 a.m. at O’Hare International Airport.
“It’s incredibly warm weather for this time of year,” meteorologist Jim Allsopp said. “This is extremely unusual for January, and temperatures will keep climbing throughout the day.”
As the day continues, the area is also expected to flirt with the all-time high for January. That record is 67 degrees, which was set in 1950.
The higher temperatures are due to a warm air mass making its way north from the Gulf of Mexico, Allsopp said. That air mass brought 70-degree weather yesterday to parts of Arkansas and Missouri.
Rain is expected most of the day, and much of the area will be under a flood watch from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to the weather service. That could include thunderstorms that turn into snow Wednesday as a cold front moves through later today.
Rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches, with 3 inches possible in some areas.
Temperatures in the single digits will take hold Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.