For the first time since Sunday, dawn broke above zero. Just 2 above, but better than the minus 2 on Monday and minus 11 on Tuesday. Wind chills were still below zero this morning but were expected to climb above zero this afternoon and stay there for a few days.
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- O'Hare International Airport
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- Chicago, IL, United States
No problems were reported on expressways and the CTA reported no delays. More than a hundred flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport this morning, an improvement from earlier this week when more than 400 were scratched.
Temperatures are expected to remain more moderate the rest of the week, with highs around 32 Thursday and 24 on Friday. But there'll be snow, possibly four inches, through the weekend and into next week. Then more cold, with possible lows below zero by Sunday night.
It's a pattern that WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling says could be repeated over the next few weeks and maybe into March. One front after another is expected to pull frigid air from Canada and the far northern Plains and Midwestern states, Skilling said.
"Though temperatures are predicted to be well below normal with these reinforcing punches of cold air, early indications are these cold surges may fall short of the intensity of the cold air now exiting the area," he said on the Chicago Weather Center website.
"Computer models doggedly maintain a significantly subnormal temperature trend through the coming 2 weeks," he said. "Longer range model projections even suggest the pattern, which has dominated the cold season to date, may persist not only through February, but into March as well."
Over the next few days, some snow is possible Thursday afternoon and evening with a more significant snowy period Friday night into Saturday, he said. "Still another storm lifting out of the southern Plains is being monitored for its potential for snow production here next Tuesday and Wednesday."
Two of every three days this winter have been below average, according to the Chicago Weather Center. Today will be the 9th day in a row below average. The Chicago area has dipped below zero 15 times this winter. or nearly twice the average. So far this month, the average temperature at Anchorage, Alaska (29.8) is nearly double the average temperature at O’Hare (15.2).
Some other cold facts:
• The lowest wind chill observed at O'Hare and downtown Chicago this week was minus 30 early Tuesday morning.
• The lowest temperature in the area on Tuesday morning was minus 19 in Marengo in McHenry County.
• The lowest wind chills were minus 34 to minus 35 across Lee, Ogle, and DeKalb counties.
On a brighter note, it's getting more obvious that the days are getting longer. Tuesday was the first time sunset has occurred after 5 p.m.