As Arctic high pressure centered over the central plains holds over our area for the second day – it is likely that Saturday’s high of 26-degrees will be our warmest reading this weekend. These unusual January-like temperatures are indeed a rare event here – a search of Chicago weather records dating back to 1870 indicate that two consecutive days with temperatures less than 27-degrees so early in the season (before November 24th) has occurred only 14 times in the 143-year record.
This frigid air mass has pushed all the way south into Texas and New Mexico. The combination of this cold air with developing low pressure in Arizona has resulted in Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories this weekend for heavy snow in southern portions of Utah and Colorado, to a wintery mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow over a good portion of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and western Texas.
Thanksgiving week in Chicago
The cold air mass will modify somewhat here during the week ahead, but temperatures are still expected to stay below normal until next weekend. High temperatures for the 5-day period Monday through Friday will generally run in the 30s, with the coldest period (highs in the lower 30s) Tuesday and Wednesday. Aside from periodic lake-effect snow showers mainly over the snow belt to our east, the only significant precipitation in the Chicago area looks to be Monday forenoon when a cold front approaching from the northwest is forecast to trigger a band of wet sticking snow that could create some slippery conditions. Thanksgiving day looks to be partly sunny with highs in the middle 30s.