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Chicago Record Low Temperature: City Hits -16 Mark To Kick Off Two Days Of Dangerous Cold

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Monday is officially a day for the record books in Chicago.

The temperature at O'Hare hit 15 degrees below zero at 7 a.m. on Monday, breaking the previous record low for the date of 14 below, the Chicago Weather Center blog reports. The temperature dropped another degree, to 16 below, by 8. a.m. To make matters worse, the wind chill at O'Hare dropped as low as 42 degrees below zero and a wind chill warning remains in effect for the Chicago area through noon Tuesday.

The previous record low was set on both 1894 and 1988.

The city also will beat the record of the lowest high temperature ever recorded on Jan. 6 (previously: -1 degree) as it is all but certain the temperature will not top that all day Monday, the Weather Center reports. That record dates back to 1912.

As DNAinfo Chicago reports, the temperature of 16 below is colder than the 11 below temperature recorded at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica before 8.am.

Temperatures at O'Hare first dipped below zero just after midnight Monday and are expected to remain sub-zero through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The deep freeze comes following multiple days of snow, including 11.7 inches of snowfall at O'Hare and 9.6 inches at Midway through 6 p.m. Sunday, NBC Chicago reports, based on National Weather Service figures.

The extreme cold and snow forced the closure of Chicago Public Schools and is also being blamed for delays on the CTA and Metra on Monday. Of course, the weather is also causing many flight cancelations at the city's airports. At O'Hare, 350 flights were canceled through 8:30 a.m. Monday on top of over 1,300 flights canceled Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Area roadways are also impacted. In northwest Indiana, a state of emergency has been declared as some roadways -- including sections of I-65, I-80 and I-94 -- are closed to anyone but law enforcement or emergency vehicles, WGN reports.

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. Gov. Pat Quinn declared a state of disaster for the state of Illinois at a Monday afternoon press conference and Chicago Public Schools announced the district will be closed for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.

City officials are urging residents to stay indoors if at all possible.

“Everyday activities may not be feasible," Gary Schenkel of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications told the Sun-Times.

Many other school districts -- including the Chicago Archdiocese's schools -- and universities closed Monday, as well as some museums, zoos and other facilities. Chicagoist has an updated list of cold-related closings and service updates.

For information on the city's warming centers, call 311 or read this list.

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