A blast of arctic air descended on the Chicago area Friday, with dangerously cold temperatures in store for several days.
The snowstorm Thursday ushered in a bitter blast that will likely linger for at least 7 to 10 days in the area, bringing temperature highs under 20 degrees and wind chill values below zero for not just the weekend.
The first taste of bitter temps begins Friday, with highs in the teens for most locations, though wind gusts of to 35 mph will keep wind chill readings below zero.
Highs Saturday are set to only reach between 10 and 18 degrees with wind chill readings well below zero. Overnight lows are expected to drop near zero to 8 below, with wind chill readings between -12 and -22 degrees.
Sunday will be nearly as cold, with highs in the single digits and wind chills well below zero. Some light snow will be possible in far southern counties Sunday evening or night.
Overnight lows range from 5 degrees by the lake to 5 degrees below zero inland, and wind chills between -5 and -15 degrees.
The bitter blast is set to continue at least through the first part of the work week.
According to NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologists, current forecasts show the area staying at 18 degrees or below for nine straight days. The last time that happened for such a long stretch was in February 2007, data shows.
If the temps hold for 10 straight days, it would be the first time on record O'Hare Airport recorded 10 straight days of such temps in February.
Should it continue for 12 straight days, it would tie for the longest very cold stretch since 1958.