Warm weather hits Chicago, for now

February 17, 2011 2:20:03 PM PST
Chicago could reach a 131-year-old record Thursday if temperatures hit 60 degrees.

More than two weeks ago, the Blizzard 2011 brought the area to a standstill. Soon after, the temperatures dipped way below zero. Last week, warming centers around the city were open, with officials telling people it would feel like 25 degrees below zero with the wind chill.

We may see record-breaking temperatures in the 60s Thursday, 25 degrees above normal.

The outdoor skating rinks operated by the Chicago Park District will be closed Thursday. At the rink at Midway Plaisance, a large puddle has formed.

Mild temperatures are melting away stubborn sheets of ice along the lake's shoreline as well. At North Avenue Beach, people started to come out to enjoy the weather, walking their dogs even before the sun came up. It's a dream for runners, some of whom have not hit the trail since November.

"It's invigorating. It's always better than running on the treadmill. So it's been really energizing, I think," said runner Meaghan Stainback.

"It's amazing, great weather," said runner Scott Loaellaway.

"I'm wearing shorts. I debated wearing a t-shirt, and I probably should have," said Patrick McGrath.

Commuters shed their heavy winter coats and traded them in for lighter gear. So have the students who walk to class on the University of Chicago campus.

"I'm just not wearing hats and gloves, but other than that, I'm about the same, so trying to just optimize for comfort," said student Brian Luerssen.

"It's excellent. I was just texting my friend saying, 'This is awesome, I'm wearing a sweater and t-shirt.' It's been great," said Sarah Weinraub.