Rain and near-record warmth at week's end

It’s a rare day in January when Chicago’s temperature hits 50 degrees, but wait until Friday. After somewhat cooler temperatures Thursday, mild and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico surges across the city and sends temperatures toward the long-standing Jan. 11 record of 61 degrees (logged in 1880).


Widespread rains here and across the Midwest on Thursday evening into Friday, while an inconvenience to some, will be welcomed by many because moderate drought and significant precipitation deficits afflict the region.


Some residents may remember Jan. 10, 1982, in Chicago.


It was a Sunday, it was very windy and 0.6 inches of snow fell. With an average temperature of 15 degrees below zero, it was the fourth-coldest day in 142 years of Chicago weather history.