The cold front expected to arrive Sunday night may be the longest Chicago has seen in decades. WGN is reporting, "By Sunday night, temperatures will drop to 2 to 6 below zero, with wind chills around 35 degrees below zero. A wind chill warning is in effect from 3 a.m. Monday through 9 a.m. Wednesday."
Lows Monday night could hit 22 degrees below zero, with slightly warmer temperatures of up to 13 below downtown. Tuesday will likely not top zero, while lows Tuesday night may hit 12 below zero. Highs may creep into the double digits on Wednesday.
The cold snap three weeks ago lasted thirty-six hours. There was a sixty-hour-long stretch of subzero temperatures in 1982 and a sixty-six-hour-long one in 1996.
Sunday afternoon, when several collar counties - Will, Grundy, and Kendall - began to experience blowing and drifting snow that can cause white out (zero visibility) conditions, the Illinois State Police (I.S.P.) issued warnings against driving on I-57 in Will County, on I-55 south of I-80, and on Illinois Route 47 and Illinois Route 17. Kankakee, Iroquois, and Ford Counties are experiencing the same problems, which led the ISP to issue warnings against driving on "I-57 north of Bourbonnais and between Ashkum and Gilman," as WGN is reporting.
The ISP has general advice on its Web site about traveling in winter storm conditions. Governor Pat Quinn is advising people to stay indoors during the second Polar Vortex of the winter. Metra and Amtrak are warning that on Monday passengers should expect some trains to be delayed and others to be cancelled, WGN reports.
Most public and private universities, colleges, junior colleges, trade schools, high schools, junior high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and preschools in the Chicago metropolitan region will be closed Monday. For a full list of which schools, libraries, and park district facilities that have reported to the Chicago Tribune/WGN Chicago Weather Center they be closed (or open), check the online Emergency Closing Center.
Aurora District 129, which serves 13,000 students, announced Sunday morning schools would be closed Monday. Community Relations Director Mike Chapin told Dana Kozlov of CBS-2 (WBBM) “Quite frankly, with 6,000 kids walking to school and the other 6,000 standing at a bus stop, there is too much of a danger of them getting frostbite or hypothermia.”
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced early Sunday afternoon that all CPS facilities will be closed Monday.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is leaving it up to individual Catholic schools whether to remain open. WGN quoted spokeswoman Susan Burritt as writing, “in light of Catholic Schools Week plans and emergency days already taken, (the office) has asked local school leaders to make a decision based on their own local conditions. These decisions will be made in the best health and safety interest of children, their families, and faculty and staff.”
The only schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago that I have identified as stating they would be open are the St. Albert the Great School in the inner-ring suburb of Burbank, St. peter School & Preschool in Skokie, and St. James School up in Arlington Heights. Note that buses for St. James will not operate.
Joliet Catholic Academy and the School of the Cathedral of St. Raymond down south in Joliet, St. Therese School in Aurora, Mother Theresa Catholic Academy down in Crete, and Providence Catholic High School down in New Lenox, all in the Diocese of Joliet, will be closed on Monday. Montini Catholic High School in west suburban Lombard, All Saints Catholc Academy in Naperville, and St. Francis High School in Wheaton, all in DuPage County and all in the Diocese of Joliet, will be closed Monday.
Marion Central Catholic Highschool in Woodstock, Saints Peter and Paul School in Cary, and Montini Catholic School and the Church of the Holy Apostles Preschool in McHenry, all of which are up north in McHenry County in the Diocese of Rockford, will be closed. St. Thomas More School in Elgin in the Diocese of Rockford will be closed. St. Mary School in Sycamore, the county seat of DeKalb County, in the Diocese of Rockford, will also be closed Monday.
On the Museum Campus in Burnham Park, The Field Museum, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum will all be closed. The Museum of Science & Industry will also be closed.
The Lincoln Park Zoo will closed early on Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Also, Wild Things Gift Shop, Regenstein Small Mammal–Reptile House, Regenstein African Journey, and McCormick Bird House will be closed (to visitors) all day.
The Lake Forest Library up in Lake Forest in Lake County will close early at 6:00 p.m. on both Monday and Tuesday. The Glen Ellyn Public Library will close early on Monday at 5:00 p.m. Normally, it is open until 9:00 p.m.
The Mount Prospect Public Library, the Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling, will also close early on Monday at 5:00, as will the Johnsburg Public Library in McHenry County.
The Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield, Illinois, which is mostly in Will County and partly in Kendall County, will be closed Monday. The Riverdale Public Library in south suburban Riverdale will also be closed on Monday.
The Deerfield Public Library up in north suburban Deerfield will be closed on Monday. The Warren-Newport Public Library up in Gurnee will be closed on Monday.