Bitter cold, dangerous wind chills hit Chicago area Sunday; warmer temperatures forecasted later in the week

Overnight wind chills plummeted to dangerous lows in what meteorologists are calling the Chicago area’s coldest night so far this winter.

A wind chill advisory was issued just before 9 p.m. Saturday and remains in effect until 10 a.m. Sunday for parts of north central Illinois and the northwest suburbs, according to the National Weather Service. Suburbs affected include Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Woodstock and Cary.

Temperatures in the area reached the single digits and wind chills overnight and into the morning could make the air feel as cold as minus 20 degrees, the weather service said.

Residents are advised to use caution while traveling outside and to wear appropriate clothing, the weather service said. Frostbite can affect exposed skin in as little as a half hour.

The forecast indicates a high temperature of 17 degrees Sunday for Chicago, followed by a low of 13 overnight.

Temperatures are expected to gradually climb over the next few days, peaking at high of 39 Thursday, forecasters said. Martin Luther King Day is forecasted to be partly sunny with a high of 25 and a low of 12 at night. Tuesday is expected to have similar conditions, while Wednesday temperatures will climb to 35, but there is a slight chance of snow that evening carrying into Thursday morning.

Cook County officials are reminding residents that warming centers are available during the daytime for those without adequate heating in their homes.