CHICAGO — It’s been a chilly Friday, but relief is on the way.

Chicagoans have shivered through the second-coldest day of winter 2022-2023 with a high of just 10 degrees at O’Hare and 12 degrees at Midway.

The day dawned with lows of minus 1 degree for a second day at O’Hare and 1 degree at Midway. There have been five sub-zero mornings here in Chicago this meteorological winter season. The lowest wind chill at O’Hare was minus 16 degrees but area wind chills went as low as minus 23 degrees at Sugar Grove, minus 21 degrees at Genoa in DeKalb County, and minus 20 degrees at Boone County’s Poplar Grove.

The coldest area thermometer readings Friday morning were minus 11 degrees at Genoa, minus 10 degrees at Woodstock and Shabbona, along with minus 8 degrees at Odell and Elgin.

Think it’s cold here?

The weather which reached New England as part of this same arctic outbreak produced wind chills nearly 60 degrees colder Friday morning than Thursday morning.

The summit of Mount Washington, home to a weather observatory that has seen some phenomenally windy, cold weather over the decades, was expected a record low which could challenge the all-time record of minus 47 degrees. But with wind gusts to 135 mph at the 6,288-foot level would drop wind chills to minus 100-110 degrees, a barbaric and truly dangerous level of chill.

But amid this talk of cold, we’re on the precipice of a huge pattern change which is will bring much milder late winter temps to the Chicago area as Pacific air prepares to visit the area, expelling arctic air in dramatic fashion in the coming 24 hours.

Temperatures will begin rising, albeit slowly overnight. Still, after lows in single digits, temperatures by morning are likely to have reached the mid-teens. Saturday will see high temperatures surge 27 degrees warmer than Friday up to 37 degrees.

The above-normal temperature pattern is to take hold through next week and holds in a weaker fashion into the following week. Next week is expected to average 15 degrees warmer than this week, averaging nearly 7 degrees above normal compared to this week, which has averaged 12 degrees below normal.

The 7-degree surplus comes down to 2 degrees above normal the following week.

A more active precipitation pattern appears likely to accompany the “warming,” with above-normal precipitation predicted next week and the week following. Next week’s precipitation appears most likely will be rain, starting with showers Monday night, and a better chance of more organized rains in the Wednesday/Thursday time frame.

Storm systems the following week may ride across the area with the critical rain/snow demarcation much closer to Chicago, which are systems that we’ll be monitoring. Winter’s not over and we have a rich history in Chicago of significant snows beyond this date. It’s worth stressing as well that above-normal temperature regimes can still produce snow.


TONIGHT: Partly cloudy to occasionally cloudy. Turning breezy with the cold easing a bit as temps rise from lows around 5 at O’Hare to the low and mid-teens by morning.

SATURDAY: Some mixed sun—but an overcast builds into the area as the day proceeds. Becoming quite windy with significantly high temps—especially in the afternoon. High 37—a reading 27-deg warmer than Friday’s.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Some cloudy spells, breezy and considerably milder. Low 26.

SUNDAY: Mixed sun at times, fairly windy and mild for the season. High 38.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and mid. South/southwest winds strengthen in the afternoon. High 43. Chance of some rain showers at night.

TUESDAY: More cloudy than not. A lingering shower is possible early. Mild high. 47.

WEDNESDAY: Some mixed sun—but clouding over in the afternoon. Growing prospects for rain by Wed night. High 43—BUT 30s lakeshore.

THURSDAY: Rainy spells—lighter and less numerous later in the day. High 45—but 30s lakeshore.

FRIDAY: Cloudy, breezy, and colder. A few flurries are possible. High 40.