Many call it “Bears weather”. A conspiracy of brutal arctic-level temperatures and biting west winds produced the team’s coldest home game in 5 years Monday evening. The last Bears’ home game which was played in colder weather occurred on Dec. 22, 2008. That contest between the Bears and Green Bay Packers began with a 3-degree kick-off temp.
Last night’s meteorological environment at Soldier Field wasn’t much better. A 9-degree 7:40 pm kick-off time temperature was coupled with a biting 17 mph sustained westerly wind subjecting fans to a bitter wind chill which flirted with 10-below.
As if that wasn’t cold enough, thermometer readings continued retreating, reaching 4-above before the game ended.
Temps plunge rapidly over a fresh snowpack; a sub-zero O’Hare overnight low would be Chicago’s coldest temperature to occur so early in the season in the past 18 years
There’s nothing like a fresh snow cover to send temperatures diving. And that’s precisely what happened across the Chicago area Monday night in the wake of Sunday’s snow accumulation.
The late weekend storm produced accumulations ranging from an inch or a bit less in far southern sections of the Chicago area—-including Kankakee, Portage and Schererville, IN as well as the Peotone area— ranging to as much as 2 to 3” in the city proper and to as much as 5” at a few harder hit locations in our northern suburbs.
Temps had plunged to 10-below late Monday evening in far west and northwest suburbs and there, the evening’s strong west winds produced wind chills as cold as 20-below.
Coldest early-season Morning in 18 years?
A sub-zero minimum temperature at O’Hare early Tuesday would not only be the season’s coldest reading to date, it would be the coldest temp to occur so early in a season here in the Chicago area.
Two-thirds of the Lower 48 sits beneath a snowpack—the greatest observed in 11 years of detailed snow cover measurement by NOAA
Given the scope of this latest arctic outbreak, it’s not at all surprising that there’s been an exponential growth in the snowpack which covers North America. It grew to an eye-catching 67% of the Lower 48 early Monday—a new seasonal high and an amount more than triple the snow pack which existed a week ago. It was also more than three times the size of last year’s snow cover at this time.
Chicago’s 4” seasonal tally to date is ahead of the long-term average of 3.5” and well ahead of a year ago when no measurable snow had fallen.
December’s open here stunningly different than a year ago
Temperatures for the month’s opening 10 days have been far different that the same period last year. Temperatures have averaged 14.3-degrees colder this December compared to last.
Clipper-type system to lay down a new corridor of snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning
Another 1 to 3” appears a good bet for many sections of the Chicago area late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
The snow would begin late Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday morning before tapering off and allowing skies to clear.
The new snow is to come on the heels of some Tuesday morning flurries—-and ahead of an eastbound disturbance expected to make it through the Chicago area Thursday.
Weekend winter storm system forecast to lift out of Texas warrants careful scrutiny in the Friday night/Saturday/Saturday night time frame
A storm system diving into the southern Plains and expected to recurve northward later this week and into the coming weekend is one we’ll be monitoring. The track now being predicted would produce some accumulation in the Chicago area. But it would take only a slight northward shift in this track to make it a major player in our weekend weather. Stay tuned to WGN. We’ll keep you updated.