A blizzard is coming in before Christmas. A powerful storm is forecast to reach the Chicago area on Thursday night and Friday, bringing subzero temperatures, strong winds, deadly wind chills, and possibly considerable snowfall.
Expect single-digit temperatures on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Wind chills are expected to be considerably below zero on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The day’s high temperature is forecast to be around 18 degrees, and the low to be in the single digits; these conditions would have been lovely nearly 40 years ago, but they will be somewhat chilly for Christmas Day celebrations.
It was -17 degrees in Chicago on Christmas Day in 1983, the lowest temperature recorded for a holiday
In 1983, the highest temperature was only five degrees below zero. That year, the temperature on Christmas Eve dropped to 25 degrees below zero, making it colder than Christmas Day.
Chicago last saw temperatures over zero degrees Fahrenheit on January 30, 2019, when the high hit a balmy -10 Since February 14, 2021—Valentine’s Day—it had not been consistently colder than zero degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Expect 8 degrees at game time for the Bears on Saturday, with a wind chill of minus 14. As we head into the weekend, expect dangerously low temperatures and wind chill.
Starting in the upper 40s on Thursday and hovering around 50 degrees on Friday, the temperature is expected to rise steadily through the week. The forecast for early January indicates warmer-than-average conditions.
Sunday night and Monday could see a dusting of snow, and then rain is likely for Wednesday night through Friday. After the arrival of Arctic air, many states issued winter weather advisories, watches, and warnings.
The Gulf Coast states are under a “hard freeze” watch until Saturday AM. It’s cold enough to warrant wind chill watches and advisories from Montana to the Carolinas. On Saturday, Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota are under winter weather advisories.