Chicago Weather: Temperatures plummet overnight, freezing rain, sleet expected

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It felt like spring in January Thursday morning. Despite drizzle and gloomy skies, people enjoyed the warm-weather break before temperatures plummeted at night. (WLS)

It felt like spring in January Thursday morning. Despite drizzle and gloomy skies, people enjoyed the warm-weather break. But temperatures plummeted by nightfall.

Despite the rain and wind, people were running in shorts before daybreak. Ice melted on Lake Michigan in DuSable Harbor. Temperatures reached a high of 59 degrees.

"I'm enjoying it. Light jacket. Put away the gloves and hat today. I'll take the rain and the warmth today," said Craig Smith, in Chicago.

"I have this on and I was dying. I just wanted something to keep the water off of me. But if I could be, I would probably get naked," said Sho Pettaway, a runner.

David Mann rides his bike from Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood to the Loop. While he was soaking wet, he didn't mind the mild weather.

"It's better. I mean, I was biking, not during the below zero weather, but yeah. It's nicer than it was on Monday," Mann said.

This is a short break from record-low temperatures that settled in across much of the U.S. in the last few weeks. In Chicago, several deaths were blamed on the bitter cold.

"Like I said, it's crazy. It's weather whiplash. Mother Nature is angry," said Krystle Smothers, in Chicago.

But the bottom fell out by Thursday evening. It felt like two seasons happened in one day.

By Thursday night, temperatures dipped dramatically - from a high of 59 degrees to a low of 22 degrees. Freezing rain, sleet and snow are all expected, potentially making travel difficult on untreated roads.

"It's the Midwest, right? So there's the ups and the downs. I mean, you just take what you can get. You enjoy it when you can. When it's bad, you just bundle up and keep going," said Ben Jones, in Chicago.

A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect in McHenry, DeKalb and LaSalle counties from 3 p.m. to midnight.

By 6 p.m., a Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect for Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Livingston counties until midnight.

From 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., a Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect in Kankakee County and in all of northwest Indiana.

A high of 22 was expected Friday before an overnight low of 8 degrees Friday night as lake-effect snow could lead to snow showers in the area.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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weatherweatherwinter weathercoldsleetrainsnowIllinoisIndianaWisconsin
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