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Chicago Extreme Cold Spell Could Hit 10 Below Zero Next Week

By Emily Morris | January 23, 2014 9:32am
 Temperatures could rise to single digits, but wind chills likely will stay below zero Thursday.
Arctic Blast Returns
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CHICAGO — Keep bundling up, Chicago: Meteorologists forecast little respite from the frigid weather that is gripping the city.

Another arctic air system brought subzero temperatures Thursday morning that are expected to rise only to single digits during the day.

Harsh wind chills are likely to range from about 10 degrees below zero to dangerous levels of nearly 30 below zero, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said.

"Today and tonight will be the heart of this blast of the cold air," Friedlein said.

Friedlein said the cold air mass, which is coming from Canada and the Arctic Circle, also could bring 1 to 3 inches of snow on Friday. Wind gusts are likely to blow that snow around, the weather service said.

There's a chance of more snow over the weekend as well, but the city could see some relief as temperatures rise to the 20s. But that's still 5 to 10 degrees lower than normal temperatures for this time of the year in Chicago, Friedlein said.

When factoring in the arctic blasts, which appear to be hitting the city in waves this month, it's also colder here than it usually is in states like Minnesota, Friedlein said.

"We will have a brief warm-up tomorrow into the weekend and then a more substantial arctic air shot" by Sunday night, Friedlein said. 

On Monday and Tuesday, the temperatures may struggle to reach zero, according to Friedlein. On Monday night, temperatures could be 8 to 10 degrees below zero, he said.

The temperatures may be too low for road salt and other snow-melting treatments to work effectively, Friedlein said.

Earlier this month, when temperatures reached a record 16 below zero on Jan. 6 in "Chiberia," it was colder than the South Pole, which is currently experiencing its version of summer.