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It was 6 degrees at midnight in Chicago. And that’s the warmest it will be until sometime Wednesday.

Arctic air blowing across Iowa and southern Minnesota will drive temperatures to as low as minus 10 today, minus 23 overnight and maybe 3 above zero on Tuesday.  Wind chills will drop to minus 35 today, minus 40 tonight and Tuesday and minus 30 Tuesday night.

The records lows for Monday and Tuesday are minus 10 in 1955 and minus 13 in 1977.


The Chicago area is under a wind chill warning until Wednesday, when temperatures could rise to 22 above zero. But some wind chill readings could still be as low as minus 30 early in the morning.

“(Monday) evening the winds will taper off and really the winds will be fairly light, we’ll probably only be blowing around 5 to 10 miles an hour tonight,” said Ben Deubelbeiss, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.  “We might be gusting up to 20 mph Tuesday afternoon.

“If you’re outside in that situation you get frostbite in a matter of minutes, or hypothermia,” he said.

The morning commute was getting off to a sputtering start: Metra, which struggled through an earlier polar punch this month, reported several delays on some lines this morning.  Wind-blown snow was making driving hazardous on Interstate 57 downstate and Interstate 65 south of Lowell, Ind.  About 400 flights were canceled at O’Hare and about 80 at Midway airport, according to FlightStats.

As they did earlier this month, hundreds of schools called off classes today, including Chicago Public Schools and its 400,000 students.

The arctic blast is rippling from Minnesota to Kentucky. Wind chills are expected to be minus 43 in Minneapolis, minus 23 in Milwaukee, minus 14 in Kansas City, Mo., and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky. In North Dakota and South Dakota, wind gusts up to 60 mph kicked up snow and closed roads in some places. Indiana officials have restricted travel in more than half of its counties.



Chicago Tribune staff report

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