03/31/2012 05:53 pm ET Updated Apr 01, 2012

Chicago's Warmest March Ever: Record-Breaking Month Draws To A Close (VIDEO)

On the heels of its warmest winter in 80 years, it stands to reason that Chicago can also celebrate its warmest month of March on record.

According to the Chicago Weather Center, temperatures in Chicago over the course of March have been nearly 16 degrees above normal and its average temperature of 53.8 degrees beats the previous record high of 48.6 degrees (set in 1945) by a whopping five degrees.

Further, the month came with nine record highs and seven record high minimums -- a lot of record-breaking to spread between only 31 days. Between March 14 and 22, Chicago marked an unprecedented nine straight days of record highs, according to

But one warm weather record eclipsed Chicago this March: the record of the warmest March day ever. That record -- of 88 degrees, set in 1986 -- still stands, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Chicago area has not been alone in its record-breaking weather ways. Statewide, Illinois also marked its warmest March on record. Over 6,000 weather records were shattered nationwide over the course of March, reports.

As several recent cool days have proven, it may not be wise for Illinoisans to pack away their winter coats and heavy sweaters just yet. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center said that there is still a chance for a freeze in April, the Associated Press reports, so farmers and gardeners in particular should be cautious about planting early.

Heading into April, meteorologist Steve Kahn has predicted another surge of unseasonable warmth entering the Chicago area Sunday.