Wind chill of minus 25 possible Tuesday night as temps plummet to season’s lowest

A wind chill advisory is in effect from 8 p.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday in northern Illinois.

SHARE Wind chill of minus 25 possible Tuesday night as temps plummet to season’s lowest
People walk through an alley in Rogers Park on the North Side after several inches of snow fell overnight across the Chicago area, Monday afternoon, Jan. 24, 2022.

People walk through an alley in Rogers Park on the North Side after several inches of snow fell overnight across the Chicago area, Monday afternoon, Jan. 24, 2022.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Temperatures will plummet to their lowest of the season in Chicago Tuesday night, with wind chills as low as minus 25 degrees away from the lake.

It will be so cold that exposed skin could become frostbitten in only 30 minutes, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a wind chill advisory from 8 p.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday for northern Illinois.

Warming centers have opened in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

Tuesday will remain sunny with a high of 11 degrees, but the extreme cold will move in after sunset. Temperatures will fall to minus 7 at O’Hare International Airport, with wind making it feel more like minus 19 degrees.

Areas farther from the lake could have wind chills as low as minus 25. The Rockford area could feel as cold as minus 30.

The last time Chicago was that cold was Feb. 7, 2021, when temperatures also reached minus 7 degrees, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk. Temperatures dipped again to minus 5 on Feb. 14, 2021.

“Last February was pretty cold and snowy,” Birk said. “We’ll get several degrees below zero a couple times each year.”

Although Tuesday night is expected to be very cold, it’s not the coldest Jan. 25 on record. The temperature in Chicago reached minus 20 in 1897, Birk said.

Just three years ago, in 2019, the city recorded a Jan. 25 with a temperature of minus 6 degrees, he said.

Wednesday’s temperature will rise to around 10 degrees, but the wind chill will remain extremely cold, reaching as low as minus 20 again, according to the weather service. Wednesday night’s low wind chill is expected around minus 7 degrees.

A warm-up is expected Thursday, when daytime temperatures rise to 30 degrees, with nighttime lows nearly reaching the single digits. There’s also a chance of snow.

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