Chicago is likely to see record-breaking high temperatures Wednesday, continuing the trend of an unseasonably warm March to date.
And the city is not alone. Warm weather is arriving early across much of the U.S., even in northern states where perplexed residents are swapping their snow shovels for golf clubs.
"It's almost like we skipped winter and now we're going to skip spring too," said Gino Izzi, a senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Chicago office.
Forecasters are predicting temperatures will likely remain unusually high through March.
Wednesday's high temperature -- anticipated to reach nearly 80 degrees -- will likely surpass the previous record high for the day: 77 degrees, a record set in 1995, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The daily record highs -- as well as the record warm lows -- through the end of the week and beyond are also in danger of being broken, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The record high for March 15, also set in 1995, is 74 degrees. If the city reaches 80 degrees Wednesday, the occasion will mark the third-earliest 80-degree day on record.
Meanwhile, the ice rink was empty at Chicago's iconic Millennium Park.
Nearby, new city residents Katie and Chris Anderson said they were surprised by the weather because of Chicago's legendary cold winters.
"I was really nervous about moving here," Katie Anderson said.
"We expected the worst," her husband added.
Illinois's winter registered as the state's third warmest on record.
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