Winter Weather Advisory: Snow, dangerously cold temps on the way to Chicago

A winter weather advisory will be in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday until noon Friday.

A rain and snow mix is predicted to arrive by late morning on Thursday.  Snow could become heavy by Thursday afternoon into the early evening.

Snowfall could range from up to 2 inches in the south suburbs, up to 5 inches in the northwest suburbs.

Another period of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning could also affect visibility and travel, although it is too early to forecast how much snow is expected.

Dangerously cold temperatures will envelop the Midwest this weekend, bringing below-zero wind chills for several days in Chicago’s worst cold snap in two years.

The deepest freeze was expected Saturday night through Tuesday.

Wind chills could reach minus 20 to minus 30 degrees, and temperatures may not rise above the single digits until after Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

"We’re going to be much colder than normal, with highs only reaching the normal minimum temps," weather service meteorologist Rafal Ogorek said.

Even after Tuesday, the cold was expected to linger for several more days.


It may be the coldest weather in Chicago in two years, Ogorek said. But it wouldn’t be as brutal as the January 2019 cold snap that saw temperatures plummet to minus 23 degrees.

January was abnormally warm and snowy, compared with the average for this time of year.

The month was 5 degrees above normal, clocking in an average of 29.2 degrees, according to the weather service. Persistent cloud cover last month may have kept the weather from becoming "overly cold," Ogorek said.

Last month was also the 10th snowiest on record in Chicago, the weather service said. After two major snow storms in less than a week, O’Hare Airport recorded 21.9 inches of snow in January — slightly more than 11 inches above average.

The deep freeze was expected to bring a slew of dangers to the area: icy roads and sidewalks, river ice jams and the threat of frostbite and hypothermia.

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Wind gusts will play a large part this weekend in making temperatures unbearable, Ogorek said. Gusts may peak at 40 mph on Thursday and will waver throughout the weekend.

"When you have cold temperatures and strong wind, that can certainly result in hypothermia and frost bite, especially without proper clothing," Ogorek said.