Brutal, record-breaking cold settles into Chicago area

Weather

A view of a chilly Chicago from SkyCam9. Photo by WGN’sErin McElroy.

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Data pix.

CHICAGO -- Record setting cold has settled into the region.  Despite mostly sunny skies, highs on Thursday are only expected to top out between 3 and 5 degrees.

Just before 6:30 a.m., the National Weather Service registered a low temperature of minus 8 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 7 below recorded on Feb. 19 in 1936.

It also looks like Chicago could break the record for coldest recorded afternoon high on Feb. 19. The record was set back in 1936 with 9 degrees.

Adding to the misery is the wind chill as it will feel like -15 to -30.

We’ll stay very cold Thursday night with lows falling to around -6 with wind chills of -15 to -20.

A breezy south wind Friday will push temps to near 20, but there is also the potential for light snow in the afternoon and evening.

Twelve YMCAs across Chicagoland will be open and available for student drop-offs– for a fee. As will Chicago public libraries and park district facilities.

Both the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry are offering free entry for children accompanied by an adult.

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