UPDATED 03/07/12 12:24 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Just 48 hours ago, the morning temperature was in the lower 20s, snow blanketed the ground, and roads were covered with ice.

But in that time, the Chicago area has jumped from January to May – and on Wednesday, the temperature will climb even higher to surpass the balmy conditions seen across the area on Tuesday.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist says as of 11:20 a.m., the temperature had already risen to 62 degrees at O’Hare International Airport, 61 degrees at Midway and the lakefront, and 64 in Gary, Ind., and Kankakee.

The high for the day is expected to climb to 65 degrees, with some south suburban areas climbing into the low 70s.

The winds were also blasting, much as they have been since Tuesday afternoon. A wind advisory is in effect for the entire Chicago area ntil 6 p.m. Wednesday, as sustained winds blow at 30 mph from the south-southwest, with gusts up to 45 or 50 mph, the National Weather Service reports.

Wind speeds had picked up to 36 at O’Hare, 35 at Midway, 41 in Kankakee and 45 in Gary as of 11 a.m.

But unlike the clear and sunny skies across the area Tuesday, clouds will prevail Wednesday as a cold front gradually swoops in from the northwest.

When Wednesday evening comes around, rain showers will move in. The showers could persist through the night and into Thursday morning, the wind direction changes to the northwest and temperatures fall.

Sunshine will return on Thursday, as the temperature drops to a high of 48 degrees, Kleist says. But we have no business complaining. It is still winter, after all.


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