As we move through the end of the week now with attention on early next week, our confidence continues to rise that record cold temperatures will be occurring across portions of the state next week, potentially aided and helped by snow that falls ahead of this serious cold outbreak. I dig into the latest details below along with now the threat of wind chills below zero on Tuesday morning for some!
Regarding the overall evolution of this impressive cold snap, everything looks to be on track with bitterly cold air surging southeast this weekend from western and southern Canada behind a strong arctic cold front. I continue to use this loop (albeit updated with new model guidance) as it is a good visualization for people to see how the air mass moves into the Midwest and Illinois early next week.
A slightly slower frontal passage to end the weekend and start next week might end up leading to a tad slightly "warmer" day on Monday but still very cold for this time of year, especially across the northern part of the state. Even with a slightly slower front, the record low max of 28 degrees at Chicago O'hare Airport could still be in play as the model shown below has right around 28 degrees and even colder across portions of northern Illinois. Far downstate could escape the cold air for one day potentially remaining in the mid 30's to low 40's. The serious and impressive cold arrives Monday night into Tuesday....
As mentioned above, Tuesday will be the coldest day of this stretch and could be even colder than previously thought for some given snow is looking a bit more likely ahead of this. With snow on the ground, it is a good reflector of sunlight and therefore will most likely not get as warm. For this reason, model guidance is trending a bit colder with daytime highs on Tuesday only in the TEENS across northern Illinois with the rest of the state in the low to upper 20's.
With temperatures potentially ending up colder, you can imagine wind chills would follow as well. It is certainly possible some areas across the northern half of the state end up seeing below zero wind chills on Tuesday morning and possibly again Wednesday morning.
Stay tuned for continued updates on what will likely be a record setting cold outbreak next week.......