A snowman sits in Washington Square Park on Chicago's Near North Side on Feb. 3, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — It could feel as chilly as 30 degrees below zero this weekend — and more snow is possible.

The city’s deep cold spell is expected to continue over the weekend and into next week, with Saturday night and Sunday predicted to see the worst of the cold.

Thursday is only expected to get as warm as 19 degrees, though it could feel as cold as 6 below zero, according to the National Weather Service. It’ll be a mostly cloudy day with wind gusts up to 15 mph and a chance for snow during the day and overnight. It could feel as cold as zero degrees overnight.

More snow is possible Friday afternoon, which has an expected high temperature of 17 degrees, according to the weather agency. It’ll remain mostly cloudy and windy, and it could feel as cold as 3 below.

Friday night will see temperatures drop to a low of 6 degrees. Snow is likely after midnight, and wind chills will make it feel like 7 below.

Snow is likely to continue during the day Saturday, though only about 2 inches are expected to fall. The day will be cloudy and is expected to only get as warm as 14 degrees, according to the weather agency.

Overnight and into Sunday morning, temperatures could fall to 4 below zero. It could feel as chilly as 30 below zero.

Sunday’s expected high temperature is 5 degrees, though the day will be partly sunny. Overnight, temperatures could drop to 4 below zero, and it could feel as cold as 25 below zero.

Monday, which is Presidents Day, will warm up slightly, with an expected high temperature of 13 degrees. There’s a slight chance for snow.

Staying Safe At Home

Fire Commissioner Richard Ford said Chicagoans should check on their vulnerable neighbors to ensure they stay warm. People should not use their ovens or stovetops to try to warm their houses, and the Fire Department also recommends against space heaters since they’re a fire risk, he said at a news conference last week.

Ford encouraged everyone to make sure they have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.

And Chicagoans can help the Fire Department by shoveling snow away from fire hydrants, ensuring they’re easily accessible for firefighters in case of emergency, Ford said.

Buildings Commissioner Matt Beaudet also urged Chicagoans to ensure snow from recent storms isn’t covering up homes to their vents, like dryer vents, since that can create safety issues.


All cats and dogs must be brought indoors, even if they’re used to staying outside, according to Cook County Animal Control.

Walks should not last longer than 10 minutes during times there are sub-zero temperatures. Put foot coverings on your dogs if they will wear them, avoid walking them on salted sidewalks and wash their paws with warm water once home, according to the county angecy.

Protect Your Pipes

People can prevent their pipes from freezing by allowing the faucet to “dribble” water, Ford said. If your pipes do freeze, you can use a hair dryer to thaw them, but you should not use something with an open flame like a candle or torch, he said.

Heating Your Apartment

Beaudet said landlords are required to ensure their tenants’ units are heated during this time. Units must be at least 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees overnight, Beaudet said.

If your landlord isn’t complying, you can file a report with 311. Landlords can be fined up to $1,000 per day per violation, Beaudet said.

Traveling Safely

Chicagoans who have to travel should keep a pair of gloves, a hat, water, flashlight, communication device, blankets and a cellphone charger in their car, said Josh Dennis, first deputy director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Helping People Experiencing Homelessness

You can carry hand warmers, gift cards, cash, food and other supplies — like gloves and blankets — with you so you can give them to people who are homeless.

You can share the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ guide on where people can turn for help when the temperatures drop. It’s online here.

And you can reach out to local organizations the support people who are homeless, like the Night Ministry and other shelters.

Read more here.

Warming Centers

The city’s warming centers are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. People at warming centers must wear masks and stay socially distant due to the coronavirus pandemic. Information about warming centers is available online or by calling 311.

The centers’ locations:

  • 1140 W. 79th St.
  • 10 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • 4314 S. Cottage Grove ave.
  • 845 W. Wilson Ave.
  • 8650 S. Commercial Ave.
  • 4312 W. North Ave.

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