The Chicago area saw some of the coldest March temperatures in more than a decade Monday, but how far below normal were they really?
A low temperature of -3 degrees was recorded at O'Hare Airport Monday, the coldest March 4 temperature since 2002. It marked only the 17th subzero temperature in March on record since 1871 and tied for seventh place on that list.
"Even more impressive, it occurred with no snow cover," the National Weather Service tweeted, noting it was the first subzero temp for the month without snow on the ground in 76 years.
Highs for the day were only expected to reach between 10 and 16 degrees.
According to data, the average high temperature for the start of March is 40 degrees. By the end of March, that number climbs to 53.
The average low for the month is 35 degrees, but for March 4, lows are typically in the upper 20s.
How often does such cold occur in March? According to records, only 1 of every 12 Marches will see temperatures dipping below zero.
It will take several days for temperatures to rebound to more seasonal levels. Tuesday looks to be mostly cloudy with a few flurries, still breezy and bitter cold in the morning with wind chill readings between 5 and 15 degrees below zero. A partly cloudy afternoon remains cold for the season with highs in the upper teens and low 20s.
Wednesday looks to be not quite as cold with highs in the mid 20s, continuing to creep into the upper 20s to 30 by Thursday and reaching above freezing - in the mid to upper 30s - by Friday.