It’s cold outside!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 11:14AM

The brutal cold is back. An arctic front brings high temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero to the Chicago area on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s average high is 36 degrees. ABC7 Meteorologist Tracy Butler said the thermometer will only reach 9 or 10 degrees on Wednesday. Wind gusts will be between 10 and 20 mph. There could be flurries at times on Wednesday.

“I drank a lot of tea this morning, to get my system hot. So once I get outside, I’m prepared for it. Today is just bitter cold,” said Bill Hakos, a commuter.

PHOTOS: Frozen Chicago

Frost bite can set in and lead to hypothermia within minutes of stepping outside if people are not bundled up properly.

“It’s bone-chilling. But as long as you’re not out too long, it’s not too bad,” said Kory Zasadzinski, another commuter.

Commuters are advised to dress in layers, whether they’re driving or taking public transportation.

“My main concern is sometimes the Amtrak freezes up. I come all the way down here and then have to go back home. So as long as everything’s running, I’m OK,” said Stan Lee, who takes the train to work.

The Illinois Tollway activated 24-hour road patrols Tuesday. Patrol teams will scour roadways for stranded drivers. If a motorist runs out of gas, gets a flat or needs any other kind of help, they should call *999.


Record-breaking cold could be on the way Thursday, Butler said. The Chicago area reached a record-low temperature of -7 degrees in 1936. Temperatures are expected to reach -8 or -9 degrees on Thursday. High temperatures will hover around 2 degrees.

The National Weather Service said a Wind Chill Advisory will be in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday to noon on Thursday for the entire Chicago area. Wind chill values are expected to be between -15 and -30 degrees.


The cold weather caused a big icy mess along the lakefront.

Chicago Park District officials closed the Lakefront Trail from Oak Street to North Avenue, a 3-mile stretch, because of large ice boulders covering it.

That portion of the path will stay closed until crews are able to clear the trail.


Yeah, you know, because “global warming”..