As 2012 draws to a close, the season's coldest air to date is heading toward Chicago. Temperatures on New Year's Day are likely to be the coldest of what has been a relatively mild and snow-free winter. But, as has been the case with this winter's cold spells, this one is to be short-lived. Following cold readings midweek -- and "cold" only of moderate intensity -- a gradual warm-up that takes hold on Thursday will continue into the weekend.
Chicago's "snow drought" is forecast to continue through the week: At best, the seven-day period will bring only a little light snow or flurries.
Saturday's high temperature, 32 degrees, marked Chicago's 308th consecutive day with temperatures of 32 degrees or higher. That ties a long-standing record established in 1878 (134 years ago). Sunday's expected high in the upper 20s ends the string.