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Frigid air still hanging on, but sun expected for Christmas Day

The bone-chilling cold that moved through a wide swath of the country Thursday will “ever so slowly” make its way out of northern Illinois over the next few days, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Chicago said.

In fact, metrologist Kevin Doom said, if daytime highs here hit 50 degrees by the end of the week as predicted, “the air will feel 90 degrees warmer than yesterday morning.”

By mid-morning Saturday, the actual air temperatures across the region hovered between 5 to 10 degrees, Doom said, with windchills of -10 to -20. The cold was balanced by plentiful sunshine.

That sunshine should remain through Christmas Day on Sunday with highs in the low teens and windchills “around zero degrees at best,” he said.

“On Sunday, the story is the cold. It will be pretty good weather otherwise” with the wind dying down and plenty of sunshine, Doom said.

Another 1/2 to 1 inch of snow could come in late Sunday night into early Monday morning, on top of the 1 to 3 inches most of the region saw Thursday, Doom said. “We don’t expect any snow for Christmas travel” during daylight hours, he said.

Then by Wednesday, highs are expected to climb into the 40s with 50 degrees predicted on Friday.

Some forecast models are predicting rain with the higher temperatures later in the week, Doom said. Rain with those higher temperatures will likely melt off the snow, but the weather service does not expect any flooding from a rapid melt off, he said.

While the area didn’t get a whole lot of snow on Thursday, “the big issue was the blowing snow. The roads were a mess after the snow ended,” Doom said.

On Saturday, those gusts were around 25 to 30 mph with some areas seeing 40-mph winds, he said.

The biggest thing as the warmer weather rolls in and the winds die down is that the de-icing chemicals should start working and clear the compacted snow and ice left by the winter storm, Doom said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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