Most of the Chicago area saw mostly sunny skies Thursday afternoon, but that didn't translate to heat as brutally cold temperatures gripped the region and some lake effect snow popped up in the afternoon hours in northwest Indiana.
The dangerously cold temperatures were exacerbated by strong, gusty winds that pushed wind chill values into the -20 to -30 degree range. The air temperature was in the single digits for most of the day.
The average high temperature for this time of year is about 32 degrees.
- NBCChicago.com/Weather: Severe Weather Alerts
Thursday night, temperatures dove again. NBC Chicago Storm Team meteorologist Andy Avalos put the air temperature in the -5 to -10 degree range with wind chills even colder.
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory for the area from 6 p.m. Thursday through 10 a.m. Friday.
Chicago snowfall has totaled 45.4 inches so far, well above-average for the season, and has surpassed snowfall totals for the entire winter season last year.