Skies become sunny after a cloudy start today as temperatures rise to nearly 70 degrees, a fitting prelude to the official start of spring on Sunday.

The National Weather Service predicts the daytime high temperature should be the warmest of the year so far in southwestern Connecticut, with a west wind 9 to 12 mph. The wind picks up later in the day to between 17 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature falling to around 36 degrees.

The warm spell fades, however, tomorrow as the NWS predicts the high temperature will be only about 50 degrees despite the sunny skies. Winds will calm to between 5 and 11 mph. The nighttime low will fall below freezing at about 28 degrees.

Sunday -- which marks the arrival of spring about 7:20 p.m. -- should also be sunny, with a high near 47.

And the work week begins Monday with a chance of showers after 9 a.m., according to the weather service.