McHenry County is expected to thaw out this weekend.
A 19-degree temperature is projected as the high for Friday, and wind chills of 7 degrees below zero could occur, according to the National Weather Service.
“It’s still going to be cold but not as brutally cold,” NWS meteorologist Amy Seeley said.
Temperatures will continue to gradually climb over the weekend, reaching a high of 44 degrees Sunday, according to the NWS.
A wind chill warning was in effect until noon Thursday for McHenry, Boone, Cook, DuPage, Lake and Winnebago counties, according to the National Weather Service. During the warning, wind gusts were expected to bring minus 25- to minus 45-degree temperatures.
The NWS doesn’t keep data pertaining to all of McHenry County, but the minus 26 degrees recorded Wednesday in the city of McHenry was only 1 degree shy of the city’s record low of 27 degrees below zero, recorded Jan. 19, 1994, meteorologist Charles Mott said.
The lowest temperature reported in Illinois was minus 36 Jan. 5, 1999, in Congerville, according to the Prairie Research Institute.
In the aftermath of this week’s cold snap, it’s a good idea for people to inspect their pipes, check on their neighbors and begin salting their walkways, the NWS advised.
Officials on Wednesday advised people to remain indoors to avoid temperatures that could cause frostbite in as few as five minutes. Several media outlets Wednesday also reported “frost quakes,” or the cracking of frozen underground water, causing loud booming noises. It’s unclear whether McHenry County experienced any such quakes, although they generally aren’t dangerous, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Jon Lageman said.
“Within my knowledge, I don’t know of too many instances where there’s been significant property damage,” he said.