THE LOOP — Just like last year, the first week of January has turned from cold to freezing to downright dangerous.
With a high temperature expected to hover around zero or 1 below zero Wednesday — and wind chills as low as 27 below zero — Wednesday is expected to be the coldest day of the week.
Commuters should prepare for longer waits, as the CTA experienced delays on the Red Line, Purple Line Express and Brown Line after a signal problem near Belmont, the CTA said.
Chicago Public Schools and other area schools preemptively canceled classes Wednesday to keep kids out of the dangerous weather, which includes a wind chill warning that will remain in effect until noon Thursday.
The National Weather Service reminds everyone to keep their pet indoors and cover up from the wind, which combined with the cold air can lead to frostbite, hypothermia or even death.
The strong winds also may reduce visibility to less than a mile at a time, according to the National Weather Service.
So when will we see a bit of a break?
That's when the National Weather Service predicts high temps will reach 24 degrees. Bad, but better than zero.
Before then, Chicago is looking at high temperatures of 12 degrees on Thursday, 7 on Friday and 14 on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
When will CPS reopen schools?
Officials are making that call on a day-by-day basis, so you'll have to wait until later Wednesday for the final word on whether you need to make day care plans for Thursday, too.
“The safety and well-being of our students comes first,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement Tuesday evening. “The frigid temperatures and winds make a dangerous combination, and it is in the best interest of our students to cancel classes" for Wednesday.
All after-school sports and extracurriculars were also canceled.
CPS buildings, however, will remain open for students who show up. CPS administrative staff, building engineers and custodians were told to report to work Wednesday.
The district, as it did on Tuesday evening, plans to keep in touch with parents with robocalls and through the media. Parents can also call 773-553-1000 or go to the CPS website for more information.
CPS reminded parents that the Chicago Public Library and all Chicago Park District facilities will be open during their normal operating hours.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: