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Chicago Temperatures Begin to Rise

By Emily Morris | January 8, 2014 8:46am
 Temperatures below zero stuck around for 37 hours in Chicago.
Life in 'Chibera'
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CHICAGO — Even as temperatures start to rise Wednesday, weather forecasters warned that with possible subzero wind chills, it's still likely to feel quite cold.

A temperature of 1 degree below zero was recorded at O'Hare Airport about 7 a.m., and wind chill lows of 10 to 15 degrees below zero are possible for the morning, National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley said.

The high for the day is expected to be about 15 degrees in the city and south suburbs, she said.

It might not feel like tropical weather, but it's a far cry from the 16 degrees below zero that set records on Monday in "Chiberia."

A polar vortex, which is an area of upper-level wind that normally stays near the North Pole, moved southward and ushered in record-low temperatures Monday, meteorologists said.

The city experienced temperatures below zero for about 37 hours straight. Temperatures reached zero about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Kids in Chicago Public Schools are back in classes Wednesday after school was canceled for two days in a row due to the extreme cold.

But still closed for business is bike-share system Divvy, which is set to reopen on Thursday.

At O'Hare Airport, some flights were experiencing delays averaging 30 minutes due to weather, and 180 flights were canceled, according to the Department of Aviation. Some airlines had delays of about 40 minutes at Midway, and fewer than six flights were canceled there because of the weather.

Wednesday morning's commute looked to be somewhat less nightmarish than the day before, with the CTA running about normal service and no canceled Metra trains, though some Metra trains were running with delays.

Metra lines running with delays included BNSF Railway, Union Pacific/Northwest Line and SouthWest Service.

Though a few spinouts were seen on the expressways, a trooper with the state police said there were fewer crashes along expressways in Chicago than the morning before.

There's about a 40 percent chance of snow for Thursday, with a high of 26 degrees expected, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters also predict a possibility for snow mixed with freezing drizzle Thursday night.