Nasty wind chills, arctic air make for brutally cold Tuesday; warming centers open

Arctic air is moving over a fresh snow pack and you’ve got the recipe for the coldest air of the winter.  

Highs today may barely get into the double digits despite full sunshine. This will make salt far less effective in melting any residual snow and ice on roadways.  

Wind chills are nasty this morning and will be worse tomorrow. A wind chill advisory remains in effect through mid-morning for the far northwest burbs. 

Tonight into tomorrow morning, the entire Chicago area will be under an advisory for wind chills between -15° and -30°. 


Commuters in Aurora said they could really feel the cold Tuesday.

Morning temperatures were just above zero degrees, not factoring in the wind chill. Even walking from the parking lot to the train station was uncomfortable. 

During extreme weather, Aurora turns its Transportation Center into a warming shelter from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It is staffed with security. It has room for social distancing, restrooms and snacks. About a dozen people spent the night.

Several warming centers are open this week across the suburbs.

Train commuters said they bundled up, wearing their most serious winter gear in multiple layers. One woman said her battery operated heated vest is a lifesaver. 

Triple A suggests that drivers pack an emergency kit for the car containing a phone charger, flashlight with batteries, first aid kit, blankets and cold weather gear.

There were reports of stranded motorists today along I-55.  

Sunny skies will prevail again tomorrow.  

A weak system comes through on Thursday with fractions of an inch for most of Chicagoland. However, possible lake-effect snow must be monitored during the Thursday time frame. 

The cold eases back a bit heading into next week.

Trivia and a note of hope: starting today, Chicago's historic average temperature begins to rise.