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News

Northern Illinois region hits record cold temps, but warmer weather on the way

A pedestrian runs along Black Road on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Joliet, Ill.
A pedestrian runs along Black Road on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Joliet, Ill.

Northern Illinois residents awoke to record-breaking cold on Tuesday morning, but the arctic cold snap may change back by early next week.

Jake Petr, meteorologist for National Weather Service Chicago, said record low temperatures were already broken at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, with the low being 7 degrees going into Tuesday. He said the previous record was 8 degrees in 1986.

Petr said it's looking like the high temperatures are going to break records as well.

"It's not going to warm up very much," Petr said.

Kevin Birk, meteorologist for National Weather Service Chicago, said the observed low temperature overnight was 7 degrees for Romeoville and 2 degrees for DeKalb. He said those lows were pretty on par with what observers are seeing across the region as well.

“Lows outside of [Chicago] were in the single digits,” Birk said.

According to National Weather Service data, the record low temperatures for this date were 13 in 1996 for Romeoville. The low was 14 in 2017 for Crystal Lake, with records for that observer location going back to 2000. The record low for Marengo was 11 degrees in 1940, with its records going back before 1900.

Record lows for DeKalb were 13 degrees in 1996, according to National Weather Service data.

The service’s data said the record lowest high temperatures were 28 in 1995 for O’Hare and Romeoville and 26 degrees in 1996 for DeKalb. The lowest high temperature for Crystal Lake was 37 in 2017.

Birk said the projected high temperatures for the region area is 18 degrees for O’Hare.

“We’re calling for 17 degrees across much of the rest of the area,” Birk said.

For comparison, Petr said, temperatures one would expect to see for Nov. 12 in northern Illinois would be a high of 50 degrees and a low of 34 degrees.

“So we are well below that,” Petr said.

But there may be hope yet for temperatures to climb well above freezing, Petr said.

Petr said climate prediction reports are suggesting that high temperatures could be a little above 40 degrees by Sunday, which is closer to the norm temperature-wise for toward the end of November.

“But it’s a little too far out to know for sure,” Petr said.

In the meantime, Petr said, it’s probably not a bad idea for northern Illinoisans to have their winter weather kits ready to go earlier in the season than usual.

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