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Mid-to-late May is the safest bet for most planting in Chicago. (Lukas / Pexels)

It’s easy to forget the cruelest April Fool’s joke: The season’s last frost is likely several weeks away, meaning it’s far too early to put most plants in the ground.

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Heavy rains can overwhelm Chicago's sewer system. (Roman Grac / Pixabay)

The past few springs, Chicago has notched record-breaking rainfall totals. All that water has to go somewhere, and when it overwhelms the city’s sewers, untreated wastewater winds up in the Chicago River.

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(WTTW News)

The first day of school in the next academic year will be Aug. 30, marking a shift away from the normal start date of the Tuesday after Labor Day. Aside from the new start date, the 2021-22 calendar does not change any other traditional components of the academic year. 

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(WTTW News)

The cost for natural gas is set to reach levels not seen since the polar vortex in 2014. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details on that story and more.

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Spring snow expected in Chicago. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

A system carrying moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will hit the area late Monday morning through early afternoon, bringing with it rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow.

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Parts of Wyoming and Nebraska are under blizzard warnings while there are Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories in effect for other parts of the region, CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin said.

Snow through central portions of the US is expected to ramp up Saturday, but likely won’t reach its peak until Sunday. Flood alerts are also a big concern for this system in the Midwest. With some rivers nearing flood stage, the anticipated heavy rain could take the rivers to dangerous levels.

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A wind advisory is in effect. (Chait Goli / Pexels)

Batten down the hatches, or at least secure lightweight objects outdoors. There’s a wind advisory in effect Wednesday.

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It's beginning to feel and look like spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Tuesday’s weather was one for the record books, with the mercury at O’Hare hitting 69 degrees, tying the highest temperature for March 9 set back in 1974, according to the National Weather Service. 

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Dan O’Conor at Fullerton Beach on Feb. 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

For months, Dan O’Conor has shocked his senses by leaping into Lake Michigan — every day. What was prompted last June by a hangover is now an opportunity for the Lincoln Square resident to help the city’s music scene. We meet up at Fullerton Beach to see him in action.

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Spring is here, at least meteorologically speaking. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The spring equinox is still a few weeks away, but meteorologists mark March 1 as the official start of spring. Someone forgot to tell March. 

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The city will begin hauling away dibs placeholders on March 2. (WTTW News)

It’s time to get those chairs, buckets and frozen pants out of the street. The unofficial grace period for the unofficial practice of dibs is officially over March 2, according to the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

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With temperatures soaring above freezing in Chicago, the “big melt” is well underway. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Postponing activities like laundry, running the dishwasher or even showering will provide maximum capacity in the sewers for snow melt.

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A car parked on a street in Chicago is buried by snow from recent storms. Sunshine and warmer temperatures on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 melted some snow, but there is still plenty to shovel. (WTTW News)

After numerous winter storms this month left much of the Chicago area blanketed in an entire season’s worth of snowfall and ushered in dangerously cold wind chills, warmer temperatures are expected in the coming days. But first: more snow.

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A homeless encampment in Chicago. (WTTW News)

This month’s deep freeze has left Chicago’s homeless residents in deadly peril. But housing insecurity is not just an extreme-weather problem, some advocates say, and the city needs to take a bolder approach to housing policy.

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This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 file photo shows power lines in Houston. (AP Photo / David J. Phillip, File)

A Democratic senator is calling for federal investigations into possible price gouging of natural gas in the Midwest and other regions following severe winter storms that plunged Texas and other states into a deep freeze.

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Keep an eye on roofs this weekend as snow begins to melt. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

First came the big chill, then the big dig, and now officials are warning Chicagoans to prepare for the big melt. With temperatures on the rise, the snow that’s accumulated over the past three weeks is about to turn into a river.