High winds expected to kick up blizzard conditions

Story by Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV

The snowstorm may finally have left town but a winter weather advisory is in effect for this evening when southerly winds are expected  to kick up blizzard-like conditions in some places.

Wind gusts of 35 mph will “create considerable blowing and drifting of snow, with visibilities reduced to near zero at times, especially in open areas,” the National Weather Service warned in the advisory, which goes into effect at 4 p.m. until 10 a.m. Saturday.

The good news from the winds is they will be from the south and will moderate the temperatures, which could climb to near 30 Saturday before taking a polar plunge. By Saturday night, the low will be 9 and on Sunday the high will be only 10 to 14.

The bottom drops out of the thermometer Sunday night, with lows ranging from minus-10 to minus-20. The high Monday will be around minus-11 and the low between minus-14 and minus-18, according to the National Weather Service. On Tuesday, the high will be around minus-3 and the low around minus-16.

Temperatures may climb above zero on Wednesday, maybe as high as 19.
The arctic air could produce a non-stop 60-hour stretch of temperatures that fail to break above 0, which would be the longest sub-zero period in the past 18 years, according to the Chicago Weather Center.

The coldest it’s ever gotten in Chicago, according to the record books, in minus-27 on Jan. 20, 1985. The lowest high we’ve ever had is minus-11 on Dec. 24, 1983 and Jan. 18, 1994.  Chicago has a chance at tying or breaking that record.

Another snowstorm is expected to hit the Midwest over the weekend, but the brunt should be to the south of us, the weather service said.

The 2013-14 season has so far registered 24.4 inches of snow, making it the snowiest of the past 13 years. The  50 hours of on and off snowfall since New Year’s Eve produced the biggest accumulation of snow here since the Ground Hog’s Day blizzard in 2001. Some places recorded 18 inches or more, many to the north of Chicago.
Midway Airport recorded a 12.3” over the three days, and O’Hare International Airport 10. inches.

Other totals: 18 inches at Arlington Heights and Gurnee; 16.3 inches at Libertyville; 16.1 inches at Elk Grove Village; 15 inches at  Palatine; 13.8 inches at Morton Grove; 13.7 inches at Mundelein; 13.5 inches at Mount Prospect, 11 inches at Elmhurst; 6.5 inches at Chesterton, Ind.; 4.6 inches at Kankakee; and 3.5 inches at Peotone.

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