Chicago Weather: Bitter cold moves into area, with lowest temperatures in nearly a year

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's a dangerously cold morning around the Chicago area Friday with wind chills well below zero.

The high temperature for Chicago is forecast to be just 15 degrees, with wind chills that will make it feel like -10 to -20 degrees.

With a temperature of zero degrees at O'Hare, the city recorded its coldest temperature in nearly a year. The last time the city was at zero degrees was February 2, 2021.

A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service until 9 a.m. Friday for DeKalb, Kane, Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, McHenry and southern Will counties.

The NWS warns the cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Temperatures are set to rise on Saturday, with a high temperature of 34 degrees forecast.

Warming areas are safe spaces for refuge and relief from extreme cold weather, according to the statement. To locate a center nearby, residents can call city services at 311 or visit

Cold Weather Tips

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There are some steps you can take to keep your vehicle running and your house warm.

There are some steps you can take to keep your vehicle running and your house warm:

  • To keep your car running in the extreme cold, get your battery checked and make sure you have jumper cables in your trunk.

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.

  • Have an emergency kit equipped with blankets, non-perishable food, boots and extra clothing in case you get stranded.

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    When it comes to your home, experts advise:

  • Setting your thermostat to 68 degrees

  • Have your furnace inspected to make sure it's working safely and efficiently.

  • Replace your furnace filter if it's been a while.

  • The Chicago Fire Department does not recommend using space heaters; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. The use of a space heater in children's rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results, officials said. If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never put cords under carpet. With the added demand on furnaces and boilers, CFD also reminds residents they are required by ordinance to have working carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide leaks from a heating system that could be fatal over time, and to keep smoke detectors in working order.

    Another big problem in the cold: busted pipes.

    To prevent this from happening:

  • Allow a slow trickle of water to flow from your faucets to help prevent pipes from freezing

  • Open doors and cabinets to allow heat to get to bathroom pipes and pipes under sinks.

  • When it comes to protecting yourself from frostbite or hypothermia, use common sense, dress in layers and always wear a hat and gloves.

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