This time last year, Elmhurst was bracing for , the Groundhog Day blizzard that crippled the Chicago area.
What a difference a year makes. With temperatures nearing 60 in some areas yesterday, and highs in the mid- to upper 40s predicted for the rest of the week, it feels like spring has arrived early this year.
There's more to all this unseasonably warm weather than open windows and confused vegetation. It's a money-saver, too.
Last year, Elmhurst city staff were paid about $165,000 in overtime to clear streets; this year, that cost is about $44,000, according to an article in TribLocal.
If these conditions continue, savings on the cost of road salt also will be realized.
Your bank account may be enjoying more immediate relief, too. The unusually mild winter could result in a savings of up to $150 for families this season, according to the Citizens Utility Board.
The average high temperature in January is 31 degrees, and in February, it's 36, according to the National Weather Service. We did not beat the record high yesterday, however, which is 65, set back in 1989.
So, how does the rest of the week look?
Today, expect a high of 47 under partly cloudy skies, with the same on Thursday plus some added sunshine. The next chance of rain will be on Saturday and Sunday, but it's only a 30 percent chance. Lows all week will be in the 33 to 36 degree range.
If we dare take a look at the 10-day forecast, it looks like sunny or partly sunny skies all next week, with temperatures in the mid-to upper-30s.
That's terrible news for kids who got new snowboards and sleds for Christmas. But for the rest of us, considering the dire predictions last fall of a treacherous winter, it's a forecast we can live with as we ease our way to spring.
The first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox, is March 20, just about seven weeks away.