Normally this time of year we are talking about the possibility of snow. But, Monday morning, the Chicago area is seeing temperatures in the 60s.
Unless you're in the business of selling parkas and long johns, economists say, a few weeks of warm weather in the weeks leading up to Christmas can actually give the overall U.S. economy a real boost. That is a trend they're seeing at the Oakbrook Center, the western suburbs' biggest outdoor shopping center.
It was a busy weekend at Oakbrook Center. Snow, ice and bitter cold tend to keep shoppers at home, but with temperatures forecast well into the 60s Monday, people can shop leisurely.
Oakbrook Center spokesperson Suzanne Beres says traffic at the mall has doubled.
"The traffic has been very positive during this warm spell that we're currently going through," said Beres. "We're seeing strong sales from our retailers. The consumers are very positive going into this holiday season."
"[The weather] puts me in a great mood, but it doesn't feel like Christmas," said Chicago resident Jennifer Alvarez.
"Christmas shopping with no coat? It's not bad," said Lombard resident Mike Karl.
Getting around early Monday morning was tough. A thick blanket of fog reduced visibility to just a few car lengths at times all over the Chicago area.
ABC7 meteorologist Tracy Butler predicted temperatures Monday could climb as high as 68 degrees, just shy of the December 2 record of 71 degrees.