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updated: 1/28/2014 6:15 PM

Worst temperatures over; wind chill warning remains

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  • Video: Bitter Midwest cold

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       Nearly everyone will agree with what Aquascape in St. Charles has to say on its sign.
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  • Frozen commuters board the Metra train at the Barrington train station.

       Frozen commuters board the Metra train at the Barrington train station.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • A sun dog over the Jane Addams Tollway in Arlington Heights Monday morning. Sun dogs are caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

       A sun dog over the Jane Addams Tollway in Arlington Heights Monday morning. Sun dogs are caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.
    Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

 
 

Unfortunately, this is one time meteorologists didn't get their predictions wrong.

As expected, dangerously cold temperatures settled in Tuesday, as temperatures reached 15 below overnight with wind chills hovering around 27 degrees below zero.

The cold caused more than 500 canceled flights and there were cold weather delays of about 15 minutes during evening rush hour on nearly all Metra lines Monday night.

At the airports, O'Hare International Airport canceled 480 flights, while another 80 flights had been canceled at Midway Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation update given at 3:30 p.m. Monday

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the Chicago area that carries on until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

As evidence of this year's extreme winter, the National Weather Service says it has officially snowed more days than it hasn't in the last seven weeks.

In the last 50 days, it's snowed more than one-tenth of an inch on 27 of days. It's a frequency seen only four other times since 1884, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are expected to increase slightly Wednesday afternoon to about 4 degrees, but wind chill temperatures will make it feel closer to 22 degrees below zero.

It's expected to drop to two degrees below zero overnight, but the wind will make it feel closer to 23 degrees below zero, officials said.

At the temperatures expected, frost bite and hypothermia can occur in a matter of minutes to unexposed skin. People should take precautions by wearing multiple layers of clothing to protect all skin areas.

Children should be kept indoors, while pets only let outside for minutes at a time.

In the meantime, some blowing and drifting snow remains out there.

A message on the Metra website warned of delays due to the extreme cold weather that will likely carry into Wednesday. People are urged to prepare for extra travel times as trains will be operating at reduced speed to reduce stress on the rails.

For the second day in a row, many schools throughout the region remained closed. People can check and see if their school is closed by checking out the area's Emergency Closing Center website.

The warmup starts Wednesday, when temperatures climb to 19 degrees, officials said.

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