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updated: 12/11/2013 11:11 PM

Bitter cold grips area; take precautions, experts say

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  • Video: Snow slows morning commute

  • Traffic is backed up on I90 eastbound around Bartlett Road from sloppy driving conditions Wednesday morning.

       Traffic is backed up on I90 eastbound around Bartlett Road from sloppy driving conditions Wednesday morning.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein resident Steve Kern clears the snow off his SUV after snow fell in Lake County Wednesday. Snow plows were out in force clearing streets during the early morning hours to help with commuter traffic.

       Mundelein resident Steve Kern clears the snow off his SUV after snow fell in Lake County Wednesday. Snow plows were out in force clearing streets during the early morning hours to help with commuter traffic.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Gina Kraman of Wheaton enjoys a walk Wednesday morning in Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton.

       Gina Kraman of Wheaton enjoys a walk Wednesday morning in Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein resident Michele Mazza, 17, walks her dog, Cubbie, on snow-covered sidewalks as snow fell in Lake County Wednesday. Snow plows were out in force clearing streets during the early morning hours to help with commuter traffic.

       Mundelein resident Michele Mazza, 17, walks her dog, Cubbie, on snow-covered sidewalks as snow fell in Lake County Wednesday. Snow plows were out in force clearing streets during the early morning hours to help with commuter traffic.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Chuck Kim of Buffalo Grove was fishing for fun in the 20 degree weather as he tries his luck with his two fishing poles.

       Chuck Kim of Buffalo Grove was fishing for fun in the 20 degree weather as he tries his luck with his two fishing poles.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • City employee Jeffrey Lewis uses a snow thrower to clear the last of the overnight snow from the City Skate rink in downtown Elgin Wednesday morning.

       City employee Jeffrey Lewis uses a snow thrower to clear the last of the overnight snow from the City Skate rink in downtown Elgin Wednesday morning.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Cold weather tips

    Graphic: Cold weather tips

 
 

Freezing temperatures and windchills far below zero iced the Chicago area Wednesday night into Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory until 5 a.m. today that called for wind chills between 10 and 20 degrees below zero.

Authorities said the strong winds and low temperatures could result in frostbite and hypothermia if precautions are not taken. People are urged to dress warm, using multiple layers, and wear a hat and gloves.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the temperature at O'Hare was 2 degrees with a wind chill of 14 degrees below zero with temperatures expected to keep dropping each hour. In Aurora, the wind chill stood at 31 degrees below zero.

ComEd reported minimal power outages during the cold snap.

The Illinois Tollway launched its Zero Weather Road Patrols overnight to assist drivers stranded in their cars during the cold weather. The 24-hour service dedicates hourly patrols to search for motorists in disabled vehicles and responds to calls that come in through the *999 hotline, according to a release.

Earlier Wednesday, a band of snow moved through the area that caused spin outs and accidents around the suburbs.

Cold weather will continue today with temperatures reaching only 20 degrees for a high, but wind chills will still be between 5 and 15 degrees below zero.

By Friday a slight warm up will move in with highs in the upper 20s before another possible snowstorm on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

• Daily Herald staff writer Melissa Silverberg contributed to this report.

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