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Arctic weather returns to McHenry County

Subzero temps close schools for two days

CRYSTAL LAKE – The latest arctic blast to hit the McHenry County area closed schools and businesses Monday, as a familiar forecast this winter again projected subzero temperatures and frigid winds.

A cold front arrived in the area Sunday evening and will continue to funnel cold, northern air until Wednesday morning, said Casey Sullivan, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. The wind chills during the start of the work week will dip temperatures 30 degrees blow zero.

“An arctic cold front is moving across the area Sunday night,” Sullivan said. “Behind this front, temperatures should plunge into the single digits.”

The cold air that follows the arctic front means by Tuesday morning, temperatures without the wind chill should fall to 23 below zero for a low and zero degrees for a high in McHenry County.

Some snow flurries, producing around an inch on the ground, also were expected Sunday night. The strong winds and fresh snow could create “whiteout conditions” for Monday morning travelers in open and rural areas, Sullivan said.

The forecast doesn’t call for snow after Sunday – only cold temperatures. The National Weather Service plans on keeping a wind chill warning in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sullivan said.

Most McHenry County area school districts, from Harvard District 50 to Carpentersville District 300, canceled classes Monday and Tuesday, while area libraries closed and some businesses told employees to stay home.

Students already had their winter breaks extended earlier this month, after a polar vortex that brought arctic temperatures hovered on the Chicago area for days.

With more than a month left in the season, this winter is already on tract to be the 13 coldest on record in the Chicago area, Sullivan said. The average temperature has been 23 degrees when factoring all the highs and lows since Dec. 1.

But some relief from the cold is on the way. The daytime high Wednesday is expected to climb into the upper teens.

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