Chicago’s deep freeze returns tonight

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Several inches of snow fell across Chicagoland Sunday morning.

CT 0118_weather_features_03.JPGO’Hare reporting just under 2 inches, and Palos Park reporting the most snow with nearly 4 inches.  Today, more flurries possible but lots of blowing and drifting snow.  High today is 28 degrees, those are the warmest temperatures we will see for at least a week.  Arctic cold front moves in this evening and could cause white out conditions in some areas.  Tonight’s cold fron could begin the longest stretch of subzero temperatures the Chicago area’s seen in decades.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Monday. Winds pick up Sunday afternoon to about 30 mph, with 40 mph gusts.

By Sunday night, temperatures will drop to 2 to 6 below zero, with wind chills around 35 degrees below zero. A wind chill warning is in effect from 3 a.m. Monday through 9 a.m. Wednesday.

“The forecast calls for most if not the entire area to remain below zero from late Sunday night through early Wednesday, a period that could approach 60 hours,” according to the wind chill advisory.

Wind chills during the advisory period are expected to approach 45 degrees below zero, meaning that “frostbite and hypothermia can occur in a matter of minutes,” according to the weather service.

Lows Monday night could hit 22 degrees below zero, with slightly warmer temperatures of up to 13 below downtown. Tuesday will likely not top zero, while lows Tuesday night may hit 12 below zero. Highs may creep into the double digits on Wednesday.

The most recent 60-hour stretch of subzero temperatures came in 1982, according to the weather service. The upcoming cold snap could surpass that one, and come in third behind a 66-hour stretch that ended Feb. 4, 1996. In contrast, the cold snap three weeks ago lasted about 36 hours.


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