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. Temperatures fall to around zero with wind chills well below zero. The teen left his home during a snowstorm Tuesday night after a discussion with his family about cell phone usage. Temperatures will be above freezing during the time it should be raining, so frozen precipitation is not expected. Minnesota temperatures could hit 30 below with a wind chill of 60 below.
In addition to the harsh cold, heavy snow already hammered the upper Midwest and Great Lakes area on Monday, resulting in "dangerous to impossible travel conditions", according to CNN. That being said, temperatures ahead of the cold front are going to be in the 50s across the Piedmont, so very little accumulation of snow is expected even if a few flakes mix in.
We'll watch temps drop to near 0 by Thursday AM with wind chills here around -10 to -20. The high on Thusday in Chicago is not expected to top -14 degrees.
The warmer days for the first two weeks have offset the recent cold stretch. "It may be wise to stock up on groceries between now and Monday evening so outdoor time is minimized". And more cold is yet to come, with a chilling polar vortex being displaced from the Arctic Circle. "There's no sugarcoating it, the weather will get extremely cold", tweeted the Weather Service office serving the Twin Cities.
The maps below show forecast high temperatures Wednesday afternoon and low temperatures early Thursday morning.
Mallory's Forecast - High winds usher in cold air
Highs on Wednesday are expected to be in the single digits, and dip down to 0 on Wednesday evening, according to NWS data. You can see from the graphic, the actual temperature has the potential to get as low as -31 on Wednesday night .
Up to 6 inches of snow fell overnight in parts of McHenry County, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures look like they will bottom out around the middle of the week before they start to warm up around the weekend.
"Chicago will likely see its coldest readings in almost 25 years, with lows approaching the all-time record of 27 below and a daytime high on Wednesday of around 15 below", Hennen said. Will this week's temperatures break any of those records?
The current record of minus 26 degrees was set in 1996.