Chicago weather: Dangerous cold moves in after winter snow storm

Snow accumulation reported across area, with totals more than 2 inches in places

ByABC7 Eyewitness News Team Coverage WLS logo
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Layers were the name of the game as Chicagoans bundled up against brutal cold Friday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bitterly cold temperatures have moved in Friday across the Chicago area following a winter snow storm.

Across the city and downtown Friday, people are bracing for the frigid temperatures, with some shoveling the snow that came Thursday night.

Wind chills Friday morning reached as low as -40 in some areas, with air temperatures below zero. The cold is forecast to continue with wind chills staying well below 0 through the day.

Layers were the name of the game as Chicagoans bundled up against brutal cold Friday.

The snow moved in Thursday and punished the Chicago area into the evening hours. Now it's left with high winds and bitter cold.

Hundreds of flight cancellations at O'Hare, Midway airports again Friday with brutal cold

Some suburbs saw several inches of snow accumulation Friday.

Snow Totals

Streator: 2.5 inches

Romeoville: 2.5 inches

Elmhurst: 2.3 inches

Peotone: 2.3 inches

St. Charles 2 inches

Downtown: 2 inches

Scattered snow showers are possible Friday night, ABC7 Chicago meteorologist Larry Mowry said.

The snow could come between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Little accumulation is expected, but snow could create slick spots.

The brutal cold comes with many dangers: Any skin that is visible to the air could get frostbite very quickly.

Latest 7-day Chicago weather forecast

The weather is still creating hazardous conditions on Chicago area roadways, with ice and blowing snow.

In northwest Indiana, Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield said lanes of Interstate 65 were blocked over the Interstate 94 overpass because trucks couldn't get up over the incline. Indiana Department of Transportation workers arrived with sand, and trucks were then able to make it up the incline.

Fifield said roads there had very poor visibility with dozens of crashes overnight.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Glen Fifield says the weather had created hazardous conditions on roadways.

Indiana State Police say crews will remain out on the roads through the evening hours to make sure drivers get to their destinations safely.

In the south suburbs, some drivers said the roads are actually pretty easy to drive on because there's so little traffic.

While less snow fel than anticipated, paired with the cold and wind it was plenty to make driving particularly treacherous Friday.

There are some icy spots along the way where people say they're taking it slow, but for the most part those snow plows have cleared the way for drivers.

Mike Machi has been braving this entire storm in a trip from Boston to Milwaukee, and things got a little dicey for him Thursday night.

"I was gonna push through last night, and I was like 'I can't see,'" Machi said. "The wind with the weather change I couldn't see so I just parked it at a hotel for the night. I'll finish the trip when I can see and it's still bad out there with the wind."

Drivers will continue to deal with those high winds throughout the day.

Chicago warming centers available at 6 locations across city

Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman Maria Castaneda said while most of the snow has been cleared from expressways, the freezing temperatures reduce the effectiveness of road salt. Castaneda also said drivers should be worried about black ice on bridges and overpasses.

IDOT spokesperson Maria Castaneda describes road conditions on Illinois roads.

Metra is running a Saturday schedule on Friday. The cold temperatures has forced Metra to reduce top speeds for trains, causing some delays.

The winter weather is also creating problems at Chicago's airports during the busy holiday travel season.

Meanwhile, in downtown Chicago, Tricia Sheridan headed home from an overnight nursing shift feeling every bit of the bitter weather.

"It just stings the eyes," Sheridan said. "You feel like you immediately have icicles on your eyelashes. Burns the nose. Try to keep everything covered up."

People in the Loop dressed in several layers, but it still doesn't feel like enough.

Ronnie Knowles had to go out to get to work at Navy Pier, waiting for a warm CTA bus to arrive seemed like an eternity.

"You have to be dressed for it because it's definitely cold because I'm wearing layers to make sure that I'm warm enough to get where I'm going," Knowles said.

The temperature on a bank sign along Wacker Drive read 9 degrees below zero. Combine the gusty conditions with that arctic number and it amounts to feeling more like -30.

Eric Courtney says Chicagoans are made for this.

"It's beautiful," she said. "It's Chicago. What more can I say?"

Meanwhile, while some are running last minute holiday errands, many are planning on staying inside until this cold snap passes.

"Home for the rest of the day," Romeo Lee said. "Sit in the house and nothing else. I'm not even coming back out for today. Last night was enough for me."

Marquette Park Fieldhouse hosts indoor activities for families

With the frigid temperatures, the Marquette Park Fieldhouse hosted lots of fun indoor activities to keep kids entertainened -- and warm.

It's tough to keep your kids happy in such dangerously cold temperatures, so the Marquee Park Fieldhouse issued an open invitation to families to come on by, kick back and take part in some fun activities organized by the Southwest Organizing Project.

Youth Organizer Dantay Williams said they considered canceling due to the weather, but realized having a warm safe space was most important on a day like today.

"I didn't want to have it and those people show up, I would rather you show up in weather like this and have it," he said.

"At each station we have something to entertain the kids because kids get bored really fast, so they have everything they need. Even though it's cold I'm so glad they came out," said volunteer Vivian Crawford.

Heat Ordinance:

Chicago law requires residential buildings to have indoor temperature to be at least 68 degrees from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The minimum is 66 degrees during the other hours. Landlords and building owners can face fines.

Call 311 to report inadequate heat. For more information, visit:

ComEd prepared for power outages

ComEd said it is in position to assist people quickly in the event of power outages.

ComEd customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information as well as following ComEd on Twitter or on Facebook. Customers can also call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or report outages via the website at or use the ComEd app.

Stay tuned to ABC7 Eyewitness News and for the latest forecast and snowfall amounts as the winter storm approaches.

Weather Alerts Live Doppler Radar

Cook County Radar DuPage County Radar Will County Radar Lake County Radar (IL) Kane County Radar Northwest Indiana Radar