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Strange January Thunderstorms Giving Way To Biting Wind, Snow

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A rare round of January thunderstorms hit the area overnight. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 01/23/12 12:12 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — No, you weren’t dreaming of summertime storms last night, but winter is already blowing back into town.

At 5:30 a.m., it was a balmy 44 at O’Hare International Airport, and 46 at Midway. By 11 a.m. Thursday, the temperature had already dropped to 36 degrees at O’Hare, Midway and Waukegan, with a cold front having pushed through.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says flurries were spotted in the midday hours from Milwaukee southwest to Rockford, and snow is expected across the Chicago area later in the afternoon.

The area has a 40 to 50 percent chance of seeing snow activity, but accumulation will be minimal, topping out at less than 1 inch. The most significant snow will be seen north of Interstate 88, Glaros said.

A bitter cold wind will also pick up in the afternoon, making conditions thoroughly uncomfortable. The overnight low Monday night is expected in the low 20s, followed by the mid- to upper 20s and sunshine on Tuesday.

Overnight Sunday into Monday, a rare round of January thunderstorms swept through the Chicago area, bringing heavy rain and melting much, but not all, of the snow that fell last week. There was no severe weather, but some areas to the south had a moderate risk of severe storms.

As daybreak neared, fog enveloped the area as piles of stale snow evaporated. A dense fog advisory was in effect in the early morning for most Chicago area counties.

For the rest of the week, there is some good news. The highs will climb to 34 Wednesday, 39 Thursday and 40 Friday, with a mix of sunshine and clouds each day. But the high drops back to 33 for Saturday and 32 for Sunday.

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