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Chicago weather outlook: Mild forecast continues for March

Chicago First Alert Weather: March outlook
Chicago First Alert Weather: March outlook 02:27

Chicago has experienced a milder than normal winter so far, and March 1 signals the start of meteorological spring. 

So, what can we expect?  A lion or a lamb?

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting more precipitation than normal for the first two weeks of March. However, that's likely to be more rain than snow.  Temperatures are expected to continue the trend of milder than normal conditions.

However, that mild streak could end during the second half of the month with lower-than-normal temps expected. And with above average precipitation, Chicagoans should keep the shovels and snow blowers handy. (Or take advantage of the kids' spring breaks and go someplace warm!)


Even so, below average March temps could still mean numbers above freezing.  The average high rises from 41 degrees on March 1 to 53 degrees on March 31.

One thing is certain, we will get more daylight. With the time change on March 12, the sun won't set until around 7 p.m.  By the end of the month, sunrise will be at 6:35 a.m. and will set at 7:14 p.m.


With winter mostly behind us, let's look a snow totals, at the official recording station at O'Hare International Airport:

November: 1.1 inch

December: 3.2 inches

January: 9.9 inches

February: 2 inches

Chicago First Alert Weather: March outlook by CBS Chicago on YouTube

That's a total of just more than 16 inches, which is about 13 inches below normal. Chicago typically gets nearly 11 inches of snow in February alone.

The predictions for a warmer than normal February turned out to be spot on.

Some days in February were 20 degrees above normal, and we ended the month with a wave of tornado warnings and two confirmed tornadoes in Joliet and Naperville.

Snow is still a possibility as Chicago typically sees about five inches of snowfall in March.

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