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It Was Almost Record-Breakingly Cold On Monday

By Stephen Gossett in News on Dec 19, 2016 3:41PM

Temperatures in Chicago on Monday morning plummeted as low as minus 13 (that’s without the wind chill factored in), just barely missing the all-time low for this day. The Dec. 19 record was set in 1983, at minus 14 degrees, according to the Trib.

But negligibility be damned, it certainly felt record-breaking, as the winter weather advisory stretched on until 10 am, and Chicagoans grappled with wind chills hovering around minus 17. (As Townes Van Zandt once sang, “don’t let the sunshine fool ya.”) Which is downright balmy compared to the overnight lows in parts of the Chicagoland area: the wind chill plunged as low as minus 30 in Waukegan and West Chicago.

The frigid temps caused more than discomfort in the morning, as hundreds of schools either canceled or delayed classes; morning CTA riders grappled with delays along the stretches of the Red and Blue Lines; and, at O’Hare, dozens of flights were canceled and 155 were delayed.

The good news is that a relative warm-up is in the mail. Highs could climb to 19 degrees (not minus!) ahead of a more extended thaw through the week ahead.

In the meantime, at least one creature found some comfort through this bitter stretch. At the Lincoln Park Zoo, this was prime polar-bear weather.