CHICAGO — The city’s been in the grips of a winter storm that’s making it feel as cold as 40 degrees below zero.
But much, much, much warmer weather is coming next week — and it could even feel 90 degrees warmer, as it might hit the high 40s or 50s, according to the National Weather Service.
This weekend and early next week are expected to remain chilly as the winter storm and its strong winds stick around. Friday’s expected high temperature is zero degrees, but the strong winds — with gusts up to 45 mph possible — will make it feel as cold as 40 below zero, according to the weather agency.
There will also be occasional snow and flurries, with snow being blown around throughout the city and making travel difficult and potentially dangerous, according to the National Weather Service.
That weather will carry through into the night: The city’s low temperature overnight is expected to be 1 degree below zero, and there will be snow and wind gusts.
The National Weather Service has continued to urge people to stay home and limit their travel as much as possible, as the “very strong westerly winds” will blow snow across the roads. Salt and road treatment isn’t effective in this kind of weather because the snow just blows back onto newly plowed roads, according to the weather agency.
The city has more than 200 plows clearing residential streets, though, according to a Friday morning news release.
“Frigid cold and slick road conditions are expected to continue today, and residents are urged to take precautions while traveling,” according to the city.
Saturday will see the beginning of the warmup. There will be a chance for flurries and areas where the snow is still being blown around, but the temperature will creep up to 11 degrees — though it will still feel as cold as 25 below zero at times. The wind will remain, with gusts up to 40 mph possible.
Sunday will see further improvements, as the day is expected to be sunny and will warm up to 14 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Every day after that will get warmer: Monday has an expected high of 21 degrees, Tuesday could get as warm as 26 degrees, Wednesday could hit 41 degrees and Thursday is expected to top out at 47 degrees.
It could even hit 50 degrees late next week, according to the National Weather Service.
That would mean there is a 90-degree difference between how Chicago feels this weekend and how it’ll be next week.
For now, Chicago’s still under a winter storm warming until 6 a.m. Saturday and a hazardous weather outlook.
Here’s what you need to know about the winter storm:
How To Stay Safe
Follow For Updates
Watch For Frostbite And Hypothermia
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns to watch for these signs of frostbite:
- Redness or pain in the skin can be a sign frostbite is beginning.
- White or grayish-yellow skin.
- Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.
People experiencing symptoms of frostbite should immediately seek medical care, according to the CDC. If immediate medical care is not available, the person with signs of frostbite should be brought into a warm room as soon as possible, according to the agency.
People with signs of frostbite in their feet or toes should not walk, and people should not massage the frostbitten area or rub snow on it, as these actions can cause more damage, according to the CDC.
People should put the skin affected by frostbite in warm but not hot water; if warm water isn’t available, warm the skin with bodyheat, like by putting frostbitten fingers in an armpit, according to the CDC. More information about frostbite is available online.
- Exhaustion or feeling very tired.
- Fumbling hands.
- Memory loss.
- Slurred speech.
- Bright, cold skin and very low energy in babies.
People showing signs of hypothermia should have their temperature taken; if it is below 95 degrees, they should seek immediate medical attention, according to the CDC.
If immediate medical care is not available, the people should get into a warm room or shelter, remove any wet clothing and warm the center of their body — their chest, neck, head and groin — with an electric blanket, according to the CDC.
People experiencing hypothermia who are conscious can also drink warm drinks, but they should not have alcohol, according to the CDC.
Once the person has warmed up, they should stay dry and keep their body wrapped in a warm blanket, and they should get medical care as soon as possible, according to the CDC.
More information about hypothermia is available online.
Chicago Warming Centers
People who need a safe space to warm up can go to a city warming center, which open when temperatures are at 32 degrees or below. They’re open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Englewood Center, 1140 W. 79th St.
- North Area Center, 845 W. Wilson Ave.
- Garfield Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave.: This center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect people to emergency shelter.
- South Chicago Center, 8650 S. Commercial Ave.
- King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
- Trina Davila Center, 4312 W. North Ave.
You can call 311 to find the warming center nearest to you. Older people can also go to one of the city’s 21 senior centers. Information about the senior centers is available online.
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