Unseasonably mild days might not last

January 10, 2012 4:18:25 PM PST
A beautiful day for a boat ride -- in January? Chicagoans cling to what may be the last days of unseasonably warm weather.

Many in the Chicago area are taking advantage of what could be the last unseasonably mild day for a while.

Chicago-area residents are taking advantage of this weather, because you never know when it will take a turn for the worse.

No coat. No hat. No scarf. Instead of a story about snowstorms, ABC 7's Michelle Gallardo is taking a boat ride.

The Bright Star is in business Tuesday. The vessel has three Shoreline Sightseeing cruises scheduled for the day. It's the first time since 1939 that Shoreline Sightseeing has run its boat tours in January. Usually, as soon as the temperature drops below 40 they shut down for the season. But not this time.

"A boat tour in Chicago is good any day, even on the rainy days because Chicago is the city of architecture, it's just so beautiful. But particularly on a day like today. You can see the people on the boats are not even wearing heavy coats, we have a blue sky, so it's perfect," said Kevin Burrows, Shoreline Sightseeing.

At Millennium Park's ice skating rink, a state of the art refrigeration system is able to keep the slab below the ice at twelve to 13 degrees as long as the air temperature stays around 60. And people are certainly taking advantage -- some even skating in some rather skimpy outfits.

"Yes, I'm wearing a dress. I had to take off the coat and the hoodie and all those various things. And the backpack. I'm supposed to be in class right now," said Tina Garvin, who was ice skating.

Tennis anyone? Shirts were optional at Recreation Drive's Park District courts. There was a full house of players who just could not believe their luck.

"I don't know if this is the earliest or the latest. We don't know if we're in fall now or spring, but it's great," said Jim Meyer, tennis player.

"I can't recall. I've been here since '73 and I can't recall any January month or December like this," said Rashid Kahn, tennis player.

Along Chicago's lakefront bike path, runners and cyclists took advantage of the mild temperatures. So did fishermen, who had a pretty good catch.

"It's not usual to have this nice weather, but even when it's frozen we sometimes break the ice and we fish there, and the perch, they are really good fish," said fisherman Valentin Curesco.

There has been seven days in a row with temperatures reaching at least 50 degrees. Forecasts indicate Wednesday will likely be the last mild day for awhile.