.08 Inches of Freezing Rain Follows Record Cold Stretch — But Temps Could Hit 50 on Thursday
Kane County’s freaky winter weather continues this week, with temperatures expected to reach 50 degrees on Thursday.
This on the heels of Sunday’s .08 inches of freezing rain — which followed one of the most sustained stretches of cold we’ve seen in some time.
If the forecasts are true, we could see a 65 degree temperature swing in less than one week’s time.
The danger, of course, is the possibility of flooding as the snow and ice melts.
“The warmer temperatures and increased flow will likely cause ice on area rivers to begin to break up this week, which could result in localized ice jam flooding to develop as the freshly dislodged ice begins to move downstream,” the National Weather Service reports.
Super Slippery Sunday
If you slipped and fell on your bottom yesterday, you were not alone.
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, saw some of the slipperiest conditions Kane County has run into in some time.
WGN reported vehicle accidents throughout the Chicago area, including at least one death attributed to icy roads.
According to the National Weather Service Chicago, Jan. 7 saw persistent light freezing rain and drizzle over the area over a span of six to nine hours. At brief times this was mixed with sleet and snow, but was mainly an icing event during the afternoon. After dark, the precipitation gradually transitioned to snow by mid-evening.
This event came on the heels of a significant cold weather period from Dec. 26 through Jan 6, which meant ground and pavement temperatures were below freezing. This furthered the icing on roads and created very hazardous travel conditions.
A Winter Weather Advisory was issued for generally south of Interstate 80 in the early morning of Jan. 7, and this was expanded northward early in the afternoon.
50 Degrees By Thursday?
There’s a huge warmup coming.
Today and Tuesday will feature high temperatures a bit above normal, but still in the 30s area wide. The big warm up and melting of the snow cover across the area will come Wednesday and especially Thursday when many areas could reach the 50s.
Cold temperatures will return to close the work week and into next weekend. Patchy fog is possible tonight into early Tuesday, with patchy fog and drizzle or light rain later Tuesday night through Wednesday night.
Rain showers are probable ahead of a cold front on Thursday, possibly mixing with or ending as snow Thursday night behind the front. A storm system could affect portions of the region Friday into Saturday, bringing a chance for snow.
Jan. 7 Local Storm Report
Dec. 26-Jan. 6 Impressive Cold Stretch
The lowest temperature recorded in Northern Illinois during the 12-straight days of cold was Watseka, which saw the temperature reach -22 degrees from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3.
In Kane County, the coldest place during that stretch was Sugar Grove Airport, which recorded -18 degrees on Jan. 6.
Next lowest in Kane County was Aurora, which hit -14 on Jan. 2-3, followed by Elgin, which recorded -13 on Jan. 2.
- A bitterly cold air mass moved into the region on Christmas and persisted into the new year, with cold at times reaching dangerous levels.
- Chicago remained below 20° during the entire calendar days from Dec. 26 through Jan. 6. The 12 consecutive days being below 20° tied a record of such a stretch for the city (only seen twice before in the winters of 1936 and 1895). Also a very close stretch was 13 days on Jan. 19-31, 1963, but one day had a high of 20°.
- The coldest part of the air mass that required Wind Chill Warnings was from Dec. 31-Jan. 2, and included the coldest New Year’s Day high temperature on record in Chicago and Rockford and wind chills of -25° to -40°.
- The high on Jan. 1 was the coldest calendar day high across the area since Jan. 6, 2014.
- The week from Christmas to New Year’s Eve was the second coldest Dec. 25-31 on record for Chicago and the coldest for Rockford.
- Below 0° lows were frequent. The annual normal number of days below 0° for Chicago is 7 and for Rockford is 12, and these were basically reached along during this stretch.
SOURCE: National Weather Service Chicago