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The Coldest Day Yet

WinterWonderland

Chicago Freeze

What was supposed to be the first day back to work for many who have been on holiday, and the first day back to school for students in 2014, is now expected to be the coldest day in Chicago in close to 30 years. Monday, January 6th 2014 is said to have a high of -10 and a low of -15 degrees Fahrenheit. The (cruel) west winds will blow between 20 to 30 mph until late afternoon decreasing to 15 to 25 mph late in the afternoon. Tuesday will warm up slightly with temperatures getting closer to 0 degrees. Let’s just say, it’s not a bad idea to stay at home or inside for the next day or two to avoid the arctic winter wonderland that is blowing it’s way through Chicago.

If you must go outside, fatten yourself with layers upon layers of warm clothes and the longest winter coat you can find. Pull out your sexiest long johns and accessorize with scarves, gloves, and hats to make sure every inch of your body is covered. If you have pets you must take outside, wrap them up in embarrassing animal clothes and awkward paw booties for their own safety. Remind them it is for their health and well-being and once they have relieved themselves, run them back inside! It is dangerous for both pets and their owners to be outside for more than several minutes in the anticipated frigid temperatures.

The source of the frigid air is caused by “a piece of a polar vortex, the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere” and it has made it’s way to the midwest according to CNN Meteorologists. A polar vortex is a tenacious, sizeable cyclone located near one or both of the planet’s geographical poles. This polar vortex will impact close to 140 million people particularly in the Northeast and Midwest region of the country.

Travel has already been delayed or cancelled close to 1300 flights at O’Hare and 160 flights at Midway, leaving travellers stranded or making other plans to get to their final destinations. Chicago public transportation is also reporting delays on the bus and train routes due to severe weather conditions. After pressure from the Chicago Teachers Union, it was announced on Sunday evening that Chicago Public schools will be closed on Monday but resume on Tuesday. Many businesses in the Andersonville and Edgewater neighborhood have already posted on social media networks that they will not be open due to the extreme conditions outside. University of Chicago, Northwestern, DePaul and Roosevelt are among local universities that also cancelled classes for Monday. If you are heading outdoors, make sure to call your destination prior to bundling up to make sure they are open!

The city of Chicago has 6 warming centers located around the city, which have extended hours from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. from Sunday January 5th through Tuesday January 7th. The North Area warming center is located at 845 W. Wilson Ave. For more information on the warming centers please call 311. For other information of where you can go to stay inside please view this link.

As there is a current winter storm watch in effect it is advised that you stay indoors and limit any travelling or activities outside. Check in on your neighbors and the elderly to make sure everyone is safe and with heat. If you must go outside take every necessary precaution to cover and protect any exposed skin. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur in a matter of minutes with the expected temperatures and wind chills. Please be safe and stay warm!


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