Chicago Braces for Potentially Record-Breaking Frigid Temperatures

South Pole explorer Scott Sears

Chicago is expected to face dangerously cold weather conditions this week with an arctic blast that may set new record low temperatures for the area, with wind chills as low as -60 degrees.

A winter storm brought more than 5 inches of snow to northern Illinois as the region braced itself for record-low subzero temperatures. Palatine, a suburban Chicago, saw 5.2 inches this morning as the storm created difficult travel conditions or drivers and fliers. The snow is expected to be followed this week by frigid temperatures, which could set record lows for the region. “Some of the coldest air in decades will pour in across the Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes with windchills in the -40 to -50 degree range and air temperatures below zero for several days,” said Fox News Meteorologist Janice Dean. “This will be dangerous and potentially deadly for these regions, and people need to stay inside.”

Forecasts call for all-time record cold temperatures and wind chills the weather service calls “possibly life-threatening.”

The Chicago Tribune reports:

By Tuesday night, temperatures are expected to take another plunge, to 23 below zero, flirting with Chicago’s coldest temperature ever: minus 27 on Jan. 20, 1985.

Temperatures are forecast to inch up to a daytime high of about minus 14 on Wednesday — the first subzero high temperature in five years and the coldest winter high ever recorded in Chicago — before dipping, again, to about minus 21 overnight. The coldest daytime high in Chicago was minus 11 on Christmas Eve 1983.

For younger Chicagoans, the burst of Arctic air set to overtake the city this week could be one of the coldest days of their lives. For Generation Z, this week’s predicted low temperatures have only two rivals: minus 16 on Jan. 6, 2014, and minus 19 on Feb. 3, 1996.

Further, the weather service says the Rockford area could get colder than the record low minus 27 on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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