This time of year it's hard to get a big warm up without a lot of wind. And that's exactly what we'll get Thursday and Friday. Strong low pressure developing in the Plains Wednesday night and Thursday will pull an unseasonably warm air mass northward into the central Plains. That warmth will then spread eastward Thursday night and Friday, warming temperatures into the 50's for Friday in Northern Illinois. And the 60's probably won't be that far away!
But with the strengthening low over the Plains and strong high pressure in the southeast, winds will increase significantly from the south and then southwest with gusts close to 40 mph during the day Friday.
Winds should ease a little heading into the weekend, but we'll hold on to the warmth with highs holding right around 50 degrees Saturday and low to mid 40's Sunday.