Updated: March 14, 2012 8:31PM
Wednesday’s warm weather has been record-setting, and the Chicago area may be in store for more record-breaking high temperatures, the National Weather Service says.
As of 1:51 p.m., it was 79 degrees at O’Hare International Airport, where Chicago’s official temperature is recorded, according to the weather service.
Before Wednesday, the record high temperature in Chicago for March 14 was 77 degrees, set in 1995, according to the weather service. The record high for March 15 was also set in 1995, when the mercury reached 74 degrees.
Today may be the beginning of a pattern. According to the weather service, the daily record highs and record warm lows are in jeopardy nearly every one of the next eight days.
Though there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, they may be accompanied by record-breaking warm temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s.
The near record-breaking warmth was expected to continue Thursday, with highs in the mid-70s, but with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Areas of dense fog could also develop near the lake late in the afternoon. Temperatures were expected to fall into the 50s by Thursday evening.
If Chicago reaches 80 degrees on Wednesday it will be the third-earliest 80-degree day ever, according to the weather service. The earliest 80-degree days were March 3, 1974; and March 12, 1990.