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Chicago Hit 21 Below This Morning, And A Snowstorm Is Coming This Afternoon

Relief is coming: Sunday could hit almost 50 degrees.

Shovel volunteers during Saturday's winter storm.
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LOGAN SQUARE — The bitter cold is coming to an end Thursday afternoon — just in time for snow to come in and ruin the evening commute.

O’Hare was at just 21 degrees below zero while Midway was 19 below zero on Tuesday morning. Wind chills were expected to make it feel as cold as 45 below zero outside during the coldest parts of the day, and the National Weather Service advised people to continue to dress in layers and avoid being outside.

The 21-below temperature at O’Hare Airport at 5:30 a.m. Thursday shattered the old low temperature for a Jan. 31 in Chicago. The old record was 12 below in 1985, according to the National Weather Service.

The coldest it’s been this week was 23 below, which fell short of being the coldest temperature ever recorded in Chicago. Chicago’s lowest low on record for any day since records began being kept in 1870s still stands. The thermometer reached 27-degrees below on Jan. 20, 1985.

But the bout of dangerous cold that’s held Chicago in its grip since Tuesday night will gradually fade during the day. The city should be back up to zero degrees by 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, and a Wind Chill Warning will stop at noon.

The winter weather isn’t over, though: Another snowstorm is expected to hit in the mid-afternoon, dumping up to 3 inches of snow on the city.

The snow will “likely [be] hazardous in places during [the] evening commute,” according to the National Weather Service.

There’s a chance for freezing drizzle and rain this weekend, but the city will also be significantly warmer: Saturday is expected to get as warm as 40 degrees while Sunday has an expected high temperature of 46 degrees.