Powerful wind gusts will hit the Chicago area Wednesday as a cold front plunges temperatures to the teens overnight — with wind chills possibly below zero.
In a matter of hours Wednesday night, temperates are expected to fall from a high of 54 degrees to a low of 15 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
The main threat, however, is high wind with gusts up to 55 mph Wednesday afternoon.
A wind advisory is issued until 4 a.m. Thursday in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
South to southwest winds up to 30 mph are expected Wednesday afternoon, the weather service said.
[6:15 AM 12/23] A powerful cold front will sweep through the region late this PM and evening causing temperatures to drop by 30+ degrees by Thursday AM sending wind chills to near 0 degrees. The coldest wind chills, near 10 below zero, are expected by Friday AM! #ILwx #INwx pic.twitter.com/sr0wLn7Dp5— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) December 23, 2020
After a brief break from the wind, gusts should pick up in the evening with western winds up to 25 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.
Forecasters warned residents to secure loose objects outside and to prepare for broken tree limbs and power outages. High-profile vehicles could also have trouble in the wind.
Then, Wednesday evening, a “powerful cold front” will push through the area, lowering temperates by more than 30 degrees in a matter of hours, the weather service said.
Flurries are possible Thursday morning, while the temperature isn’t expected to rise higher than 16 degrees during the day.
Intermittent light snow showers are possible Thursday and into Friday morning, the weather service said.
[6:30 AM 12/23] With all the active weather going on, here's a quick rundown of what to expect through the rest of the week. Flurries or intermittent light snow showers will be possible across the region Thursday and into Friday morning. #ILwx #INwx pic.twitter.com/UAMHbiiLSG— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) December 23, 2020