‘Dangerously cold wind chills,’ blowing snow expected as weekend cold front moves into Chicago area

While temperatures aren’t expected to rival the extreme lows recorded during the polar vortex in January 2019, one meteorologist said, “It certainly hasn’t been this cold for the past couple of years.”

SHARE ‘Dangerously cold wind chills,’ blowing snow expected as weekend cold front moves into Chicago area
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A woman walking her dog as heavy snowfall blankets Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

“Dangerously cold wind chills,” high winds and blowing snow are expected Friday as a frigid weekend cold front moves into the Chicago area.

When winds up to 45 miles per hour push through the region Thursday night, temperatures could drop as much as 25 degrees and remain freezing through Sunday. After Thursday’s snowfall again blanketed the area, another round of dry flurries may result in patchy blowing snow Friday, according to Casey Sullivan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Weekend temperatures aren’t expected to jump above the mid-teens and will likely dip below freezing Saturday night, according to the weather service. Wind chills on Friday could drop as low as 10 degrees below zero before plummeting to minus 18 the following night.

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While temperatures aren’t expected to rival the extreme lows recorded during the polar vortex in January 2019, Sullivan said, “It certainly hasn’t been this cold for the past couple of years.”

“It looks like we could have another weak snow system on Saturday, maybe another weak snow system on Sunday evening,” he said. “And so those are kind of muting how cold it’s going to be.”

Still, officials in Chicago are gearing up for the cold spell. The city’s six Community Service Centers are being put to use as warming centers and will remain open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

And over the weekend, the city’s largest warming center at the Garfield Community Service Center will be open those same hours. Individuals looking to get out of the cold outside those hours can also call 311 to be matched and transported to a shelter, according to Quenjana Adams, director of public affairs at the city’s Department of Family and Support Services. 

The city’s service centers are:

• Englewood Community Service Center, 1140 W. 79th St.

• Garfield Community Service Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave.

• Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

• North Area Community Service Center, 845 W. Wilson Ave.

• South Chicago Community Service Center, 8650 S. Commercial Ave.

• Trina Davila Community Service Center, 4312 W. North Ave.

For more information, residents can call City Services at 311 or visit chicago.gov/fss.

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