What to know about the weather this week – The Denver Post


Get ready, Chicago.

Snow is expected to start falling around 11 a.m. on Thursday, and increase as the day goes on. Wind chills will reach around 25 to 30 degrees below zero across the entire Chicago area by late Thursday night into Friday morning. Winds of up to 45 and 50 mph will blow the fine, fluffy snow, thus reducing visibility considerably, creating near-whiteout conditions at times.

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With the threat of a major winter storm hanging over Chicago ahead of the Christmas holiday weekend, government officials warned residents to hunker down and stay safe as airlines and rail services announced cancellations and schedule modifications to their services, adding to the stress of the estimated 113 million people who were expected to travel in the U.S. for the long holiday weekend.

While Chicago was expected to wake up to a balmy 30 degrees Thursday, forecasters warned that an arctic cold front is expected to sweep through around 1 p.m., bringing a temperature drop of 15 to 20 degrees in about two hours, said Mark Ratzer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Chicago.

‘You really have to be a little crazy to go out in this type of cold’

While the record for cold temperatures in Chicago took place Jan. 20, 1985, many of the city’s lowest recorded temperatures came from arctic snaps in 1872 and 1899.

The 1980s and 1990s saw frigid temperatures among the city’s coldest recorded, however only three days at or colder than 16 below — Jan. 6, 2014 and in two in January 2019 — took place after the year 2000.

Read the full breakdown here.

‘Stranded in a biting snowstorm, you find yourself doing things you never imagined’

Chicago’s 10 largest blizzards come with deep drifts of uniquely Chicago stories. A mayor voted out for mishandling stranded vehicles. A populace demanding a subway to compensate for stuck trains. Prisoners making a break from county jail. Runaway steers that escaped a crashed truck.

Read all about Chicago’s 10 latest snowfalls since 1886 here.

Brrrr down

The Chicago Bears are 6-4 during their 10 coldest games at Soldier Field since they began playing their home games there in 1971 — including 3 wins and 2 losses against the Packers.

The Packers played in the NFL’s coldest game, referred to as “The Ice Bowl”: 13 degrees below zero on Dec. 31, 1967.

Will Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills break any records?

Read about the Bears’ cold-weather history at Soldier Field here.

A white Christmas?

Remember 2021? It was 55 degrees on Christmas that year — but Chicago has experienced warmer temps on the holiday.

O’Hare International Airport, the city’s official recording site, reported a high of 57 on Dec. 25, 2019, making it the second warmest Christmas in the area. Yet neither were as balmy as the high of 64 on Dec. 25, 1982 — the warmest Christmas recorded here since 1871.

The following year, however, Chicago experienced the low temperature of minus 17 degrees — the city’s coldest Christmas.

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