The entire Chicago area is under a Wind Chill Advisory beginning Wednesday night as the city faces plummeting wind chill values that could drop as low as 30 below zero.
The advisory takes effect at 9 p.m. and remains in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. It warns of wind chill values between 15 and 30 below-zero.
The National Weather Service warns that at these temperatures frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
“A Wind Chill Advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate low wind chills,” the alert states. “This will results in frost bit and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.”
Temperature highs will only reach into the mid- to upper-teens by early afternoon Wednesday, but will continue to fall throughout the evening.
Thursday is expected to be the coldest day of the week, bringing the lowest temperatures so far this season. Highs are forecast to be in the single digits.
Conditions look to warm up Friday, with temperatures returning to the low-20s, but a snowy system could bring several inches of snow to the Chicago area and may mix with ice on the heels of this week’s arctic air.
The snow is expected to develop during the late-afternoon and early-evening hours, possibly impacting rush hour in the Chicago area.
It will likely continue through Saturday, possibly mixing with a combination of freezing rain and sleet south of Interstate 80 and could even transition to rain in far southern counties and in northwest Indiana for a time.
The system is still developing, so snow totals could change heading into the weekend, but as of Wednesday several inches of snow were expected to fall in the Chicago area, particularly in areas north of I-80.