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Chicago Extreme Cold: City Dubbed 'Chiberia' as Dangerous Weather Moves In

By Alex Parker | January 5, 2014 8:42pm

CHICAGO — A once-in-a-generation cold front has enveloped Chicago and spawned a new nickname on social media for the frigid city: Chiberia.

With temperatures as low as 18 degrees below zero expected overnight, the arctic comparison is appropriate. In fact, the low at the South Pole tonight is 9 degrees below zero.

Monday's high in the Windy City: 12 degrees below zero.

Coupled with as much as 10 inches of snow, this storm "will be one for the record books," warned Gov. Pat Quinn Sunday.

"All the ingredients are there for a near-record or historic cold outbreak," meteorologist Ryan Maue told the Associated Press. "If you're under 40 [years old], you've not seen this stuff before."

City officials were taking precautions, deploying the full fleet of snow plows, grounding planes at O'Hare and Midway airports, reversing a decision to keep public schools open Monday, and extending the hours of city warming centers.

Dozens of schools — including most colleges located in the city — canceled class Monday. The Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and Chicago Children's Museum followed suit.

Amtrak commuters may find their trips altered because of the weather. Metra advised commuters to be aware of possible disruption in service, as well.

While the CTA Yellow Line's service was suspended for a while due to weather-related track-switching problems, the agency reported no major problems Sunday.

While Chicagoans raided city grocery stores Saturday, on Sunday they sat at home awaiting deliveries from Peapod driver Chris Paden, who made 23 deliveries on Sunday, often having to shovel his way to doorways.