March off to mild start after frigid February

SHARE March off to mild start after frigid February

Lake Michigan is covered by snow at sunset in Chicago on Sunday, March 1, 2015. | Nam Y. Huh/AP

After one of the coldest months in Chicago history, March has gotten off to a relatively warmer start that might put a little spring into commuters’ step to start the workweek.

On Sunday, which marked the meteorological start of spring, saw a sunny high of 27 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. It’s expected to give way to another clear day on Monday with a high of 31.

The warmer temperatures will bring with them a sloppy morning rush on Tuesday, with sleet and freezing rain accompanying the day’s balmy high of 38, forecasters said.

But in case you thought we were out of the wintry woods yet, highs are forecast in just the upper teens on Wednesday and Thursday before temperatures edge back into the mid-20s by the weekend.

Still, it’s a welcome respite after Saturday’s low of 10 degrees below zero pulled February into a tie for Chicago’s coldest February on record with an average temperature of 14.6 degrees, forecasters said.

That unforgiving average was matched only by an equally frigid 28 days in 1875, according to NWS records.

It was also the third-snowiest February on record for Chicago, with 26.4 inches of snow measured at O’Hare Airport, the city’s official weather recording station, as of Saturday night, forecasters said.

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