While it’s still technically fall for another six weeks, you wouldn’t know it by looking outside.
High winds and snow have blanketed the Chicago area in the past 24 hours, and are expected to send temperatures even lower Monday night.
“We’re expecting a record in terms of cold weather tonight,” said WGN meteorologist Demetrius Ivory. “The record low today is 15 degrees – tonight we may drop to that before midnight. I’ve got a low tonight going down to about 10 degrees, and outlying areas around 8 [degrees] or so.”
The unseasonably cold weather – and the snow – are the result of a series of arctic blasts that Ivory says have swung cold winds into the Chicago region from the northwest.
That’s resulted in a much colder November than what’s typical – and with it, earlier-than-usual snow. Ivory says the single-day snowfall levels on Monday haven’t been seen this early since the 1800s.
“Today’s snow was a record. By early this afternoon, we had looked at about 3.4 inches of snow at O’Hare; the previous record was 1.9 inches, and that was set back in 1995. So, we smashed that thing.”
High winds have also impacted the chilly weather, which have an immediate impact on wind chill values.
“Tonight, I expect them to get well below zero in many areas, maybe as low as minus 10. That’s when you’re flirting with the dangerous category,” Ivory said.
Ivory says those winds might also lead to up 11-foot waves in Lake Michigan, causing erosion and flooding along the lakefront.
So does this early arctic weather mean Chicago is in for an extra-long and cold winter?
While this month may go down as the snowiest November on record, that doesn’t necessarily mean December or the rest of the winter months will follow suit, according to Ivory.
“Last year [we had] 13 inches of snow for November, none for December. So there could be a pattern change that comes our way in the next couple of weeks or so,” Ivory said.