Chicago experiences spring-like weather

March 17, 2011 11:18:12 AM PDT
It is going to feel a lot more like spring for the second day in a row as it will be near 70 degrees Thursday.

Chicago will possibly get to be 23 degrees above normal. Temperatures were expected to reach about 70 degrees after going past 60 Wednesday.

Chicagoans took to the lakefront exercising and taking walks in the city Wednesday, and runners hit the lakeshore path before 6 a.m. Thursday.

Spring will officially arrive late Sunday night. It's a stark contrast from about this time last year when on the first day of spring, persistent snow made for a miserable day across the Chicago area. Temperatures hovered around freezing and heavy snow began falling early in the morning and continued through the afternoon.

The last time we saw temperatures in the 70s was at the end of October.

Golfers came to the Diversey Driving Range in droves at the hint of nice weather. Students from Walter Peyton Prep couldn't wait to have class outside.

"It was really, really nice out today and yesterday. I think it's in the 60s today. It was in the 60s yesterday. So it's just a great time to go out, just relax and play some golf," said Jordan Horwich, Walter Payton Prep student.

Those who were not sweating like the lakeshore runners still needed a coat Thursday morning. Despite the promise of a warm up, it was chilly before sunrise. Hugo Ralli said he didn't mind at all, and neither did his Labradoodle, Quinn.

"He loves it," said Ralli. 'This is the first really sort of nice warm day you didn't have to wear gloves."

By the looks of Thursday, it seemed spring has come a few days early. Animals at the zoo prowled outside instead of hiding in their indoor habitats.

"It's absolutely glorious, and the park and the zoo has never been better. And the animals are ready to frolic," said Catherine Jadrat.

But March weather can be unpredictable, so Lynn Clary said she isn't convinced this kind of day will stick around for too long just yet.

"We haven't put away our winter coats yet. My kids asked me this morning if they could throw their things in the closet. I said, 'Oh no, leave your boots out,'" Clary said. 'We're not done yet."