ALTON - What a difference a week can make for temperatures and ice on the Mississippi River. Last Sunday, the Mississippi was nearly iced over in Grafton in Alton with small channel of water flowing.

Today, ice is still present but there is a lot of open water and soon, the ice will be gone.

Last week, lows dipped below zero wind chills and temps in single digits, but the weather has warmed and is expected to reach a high of 56 degrees today, 48 degrees on Thursday, 53 degrees on Friday, an astonishing 60 degrees of Saturday, 56 degrees Sunday, 50 degrees on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, temps are forecasted to go to 53 degrees and 57 degrees respectively.

Tuesday was the warmest day in the Metro East Illinois area before Christmas. A few isolated rain showers may occur possibly Friday and Sunday, the Weather Service says.

The warm weather has been embraced by residents, who spent much of the time after work Tuesday and likely today on walks and enjoying the warm trend.

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