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Coldest temps of the season expected to follow overnight snowfall

Midway International Airport recored 4 inches of snow overnight.

People walking through Chinatown, near West Cermak and South Wentworth, brave snowfall and temperatures that plummeted to the teens, Thursday morning, Feb. 13, 2020.
People walking through Chinatown, near West Cermak and South Wentworth, brave snowfall and temperatures that plummeted to the teens, Thursday morning, Feb. 13, 2020.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Temperatures could fall below zero Thursday night, adding to the pain of commuters already dealing with gusty winds and several inches of overnight snowfall.

Midway International Airports recored 4 inches of snowfall by noon, with O’Hare trailing at 3.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service, whose winter weather advisory expired at noon.

Morning temperatures in the 20s will fall into the teens by afternoon and single digits overnight, according to the weather service meteorologist Kevin Birk.

Winds of 15 to 25 mph — with gusts up to 35 mph — will bring wind chills possibly 12 below zero in Chicago and as low as minus 20 west of the metro area, according to the weather service.

Chicago airlines have canceled more than 300 flights at O’Hare and more than 10 flights at Midway airports, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays at O’Hare measured over an hour Thursday afternoon.

The Chicago area hasn’t seen temperatures so low in nearly a year. The last time Chicago recorded a subzero temperature was March 4, 2019.

Temperatures will rebound quickly by Saturday into the 30s. The high for Sunday is forecast for 39 degrees.

So far, the Chicago winter has been fairly mild, with January and December both measuring about 6 degrees above average, according to the weather service.

There’s also a risk of lakeshore flooding, with waves in Cook County between 8 and 11 feet during the daytime Thursday, Birk said.

The City of Chicago has published an online list of warming centers.