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updated: 2/8/2011 6:35 AM

Snow and cold bring good news, bad news

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  • We've already reached our high temperature of the day today. Temperatures will continue to fall and hover near zero.

      We've already reached our high temperature of the day today. Temperatures will continue to fall and hover near zero.
    Gilbert Boucher III/Daily Herald file photo


Let's get the worst of the news out of the way first.

Since the latest date where recorded snowfall was more than a mere trace is May 11 (in 1966), the Chicago area could see up to 92 more days of snow.

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The good news is the odds are against that happening, according to the National Weather Service office in Romeoville. And temperatures -- after an Arctic freeze starting today -- are forecast to reach into the mid-30s this weekend, giving us at least a brief break.

As of Monday evening, the area had received 53.1 inches of snow this winter. Based on historic data, we will likely see another 5.9 inches this season -- for a possible total of about 59 inches.

That would be well short of the highest mark set during the 1978-'79 season of 89.7 inches, according to Evan Bentley, a National Weather Service intern from Columbus, Ohio, who still sounded impressed.

"We definitely don't get this amount of snow over there," he said.

Still, snow isn't the big concern for the immediate future. That's because the other bad news is temperatures are going to dip below zero before we get to the weekend.

Temperatures are falling today and are expected to drop to 1 degree. Wind chills could approach minus-15 degrees.

Overnight, temperatures will hover between 5 and 10 degrees below zero before climbing to between 7 and 10 degrees on Wednesday. Wednesday night it could drop to minus-13 in Aurora with an average of minus-10 across the region.

Good news returns Thursday, as temperatures will rise to the low teens and snow doesn't appear in the forecast again until next week.

But that's cold comfort with May still 81 days away.

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