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Glbl Wrmg Chicago Weather: Polar Vortex brings brutal wind chill
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Sandhills North Carolina

    Chicago Weather: Polar Vortex brings brutal wind chill
    Jan 29 2019

    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago area is bracing for historic cold this week as frigid temperatures begin to drop Tuesday.

    A Wind Chill Advisory went into effect for the Chicago area at 4 a.m. and will be in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday, when it will be upgraded to a Wind Chill Warning. The Wind Chill Warning will remain in effect until noon Thursday.

    WATCH: Chicago is colder than some of coldest places on earth
    On Tuesday, wind chills are expected to be between -15 to -30, with a high of 3 degrees and a low of -22, and it will only get colder from there. Wednesday's expected high -13, and wind chills will make it feel like as much as 50 degrees below. It has the potential to be the second-coldest day in Chicago history.

    The record for the coldest day in Chicago was December 24, 1983, with an average temperature of -18 degrees recorded at O'Hare. Wednesday could be as cold as -15.5 or -16, which could make it the second or third coldest day in Chicago's recorded history. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Chicago was -27 on January 20, 1985. The coldest high temperature ever recorded in Chicago was -11 on Dec. 24, 1983 and Jan. 18, 1994.

    In Chicago, Lyft is offering free rides to warming centers using the code CHIJAYDEN19, up to $25 per ride, through Friday.

    Dozens of warming shelters in the city and throughout Cook County have been opened as an additional safety precaution. Officials say everyone should limit their outdoor exposure over the next few days.

    RELATED: Find a Chicago area warming center near you
    The city has also added warming buses on the streets to encourage the city's most vulnerable to be safe.

    Some flurries started to fall Tuesday afternoon, which makes it the 13th straight day of snow measured at O'Hare International Airport. Here's a bit of trivia: This hasn't happened since the winter of 1978-79.

    Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday that he has issued a disaster proclamation for the entire state.

    "This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe," Pritzker said. "This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event."

    RELATED: How to keep your pets safe in dangerously cold weather


    Chicago Public Schools announced they will close schools Wednesday due to the cold. The temperatures could present a hazard for children traveling to and from school, CPS said. CPS buildings will also be closed Wednesday due to the weather and all after school activities are canceled. CPS schools will be open Tuesday. The district will make a decision about classes Thursday on Wednesday afternoon.

    School Closings: Chicago Area Complete List

    It's even too cold for ice castles. The Ices Castles outdoor display in Geneva will be closed on Wednesday. Disney on Ice performance at the United Center has also been canceled.

    Also closed on Wednesday is the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago.

    Courthouses in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry and Will counties will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday. Illinois Secretary of State offices will also be closed Wednesday.

    Northwestern University will be closed from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 12 p.m. Thursday due to the extreme cold. The university will continue to provide "essential services" including policing, facilities management and residence hall dining. Columbia College Chicago announced it will close Tuesday evening through Wednesday due to the weather. The closure begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday through all of Wednesday and applies to all academic and business operations of the campus. DePaul University has cancelled classed for Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday.

    The Lincoln Park Zoo will close early Tuesday, at 3 p.m., and remain closed Wednesday and Thursday for the safety of animals and visitors, except for several species acclimated to the climate, like polar bears.

    However, despite the cold, there will be U.S. Postal Service mail delivery on Wednesday and Thursday.


    The snow created significant problems at Chicago's airports Monday, with more than,1,300 flight cancellations. On Tuesday, the cold cold is hampering air travel, with 178 flight cancellations at O'Hare and 285 at Midway as of 11 a.m.

    One traveler at O'Hare heading for warmer weather said she was going to be sad to miss the dangerous cold.

    "I am going to Phoenix, where I live now, I moved there a year ago," said passenger Jane Bozym. "I am a little bit sad that I am actually going to miss the cold, just to say that I lived it."

    Metra said all lines will operate on alternate schedules due to the extreme cold. Click here for the extreme weather alternate schedules for every Metra line.

    WATCH: Metra sets fires on switchers to keep trains moving

    Metra said Tuesday speed restrictions are in effect. Metra will also carefully deploy crews to set fires on switchers to keep the tracks from contracting and to keep the trains moving smoothly. Metra says there may be some additional changes to the schedule, depending on how bad conditions get.

    "It's very frightening, I have two pairs of gloves, I have a facemask, I have a hat, I have a hood, sweaters underneath here, so yeah, I am a little nervous" said Metra commuter Kellie Mueller.

    The South Shore Line said trains would operate on a reduced scheduled Wednesday and Thursday due to the extreme weather. They will also bus passengers from South Bend to Michigan City from Tuesday through Friday morning. Click here for more information and to view the modified schedule.

    Polar Vortex Explainer: Get ready for bitter cold the next few weeks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Sandhills North Carolina
    How to keep your pets safe in dangerously cold weather

    With dangerous cold forecast this week, PAWS Chicago is sharing the following tips to help you keep your pets safe.
    Tuesday, January 29, 2019 08:55AM
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- With dangerous cold forecast this week, PAWS Chicago is sharing the following tips to help you keep your pets safe:

    1) Keep Pets Inside and Limit Time Outdoors

    Dogs and cats are vulnerable to hypothermia (low body temperature) and frostbite (frozen body parts) when exposed to cold temperatures for too long. If you notice your pet is shivering, that is a clear sign that he is cold. Each pet is different, but smaller dogs and those with little or no hair need special attention as they are most vulnerable. If you have an outdoor cat, bring him inside! Remember, if it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. We recommend keeping walks short.

    2) Bundle Up!
    Pet coats and sweaters are more than fashionable - they also keep your pet warm in cold temperatures. Dog booties can also help protect paws and keep them warm.

    3) Prep Paws for the Outdoors
    Clip long fur between the toes and pads to prevent uncomfortable ice balls from forming while walking in the snow.
    When returning, wipe snow and ice off your dog's belly, legs, and especially paws with a moist rag. (Removes salt or other harmful chemicals that could be ingested when licking.)

    RELATED: Polar Vortex to bring bitter cold to Chicago area

    ABC7 meteorologist Larry Mowry explains how the Polar Vortex is responsible for the bitter cold in late January and February.
    4) Avoid Rock Salt
    Salt de-icer's are toxic (can be ingested by licking paws) and irritating.
    If you don't have dog booties, apply petroleum jelly or commercially-available organic wax balms for dogs to the paw pads for protection
    Look for salt-free ice melters that are safe for pets to walk on.

    5) Never Leave Pets Alone in a Car
    Once a car's ignition has been turned off, cold temperatures can quickly infiltrate the vehicle, creating a freezer-like environment.
    During the winter, limit travel with your pet to only that which is necessary. To avoid frostbite or hypothermia, bring pets along when you leave the vehicle - even for quick stops.

    6) Avoid Ice-Covered Bodies of Water
    Keep your pet away from frozen ponds, lakes or other bodies of water that may not be able to support his weight.

    7) Avoid Anti-Freeze
    Spilled car antifreeze containing the substance ethylene glycol is deadly for your pets. Its sweet smell and taste attracts pets.

    8) Be Aware of Heat-Seeking Cats
    Outdoor cats often look for heat by crawling under the hoods of cars. Before starting your car in the cold weather, bang on the hood or fender of the car or honk the horn a few times before turning on the engine.

    9) Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm
    Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and easily become lost. They may panic in a snowstorm and run away. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season. Always make sure your pet has a collar with ID tag, and is microchipped.

    10) Warm Place to Sleep
    Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep far away from all drafts and off the floor, such as in a dog or cat bed or basket with a warm blanket or pillow in it.

    Signs of Hypothermia in Pets:
    Violent shivering, followed by listlessness
    Problems breathing
    Weak pulse
    Muscle stiffness
    Lack of appetite

    What to do if You Suspect Hypothermia:
    Triage your pet by:
    Wrapping him in a warm blanket or coat.
    Bring him into a warm room.
    Placing warm, towel-wrapped water bottles against your pet's abdomen or at her armpits and chest, then wrap her in a blanket.
    Do not use hair dryers, heating pads, or electric blankets to warm up a hypothermic pet as this may result in burns or compromised circulation to vital organs.

    Call your veterinarian immediately!

    Signs of Frostbite in Pets:
    Tips of ears and tail have red- or gray-tinged skin
    Skin often appears pale, gray, or blue at first and red/puffy later
    Pain in ears, tail, or paws when touched
    Skin that stays cold
    Shriveled skin
    For cats: paws, tail, and ears are most vulnerable
    For dogs: tail, ears, foot pads, and scrotum are most vulnerable

    What to do if You Suspect Frostbite:
    Triage your pet by:
    Never rub or massage affected areas as this will worsen the damage
    Triage your pet by:
    Gently warming the afflicted areas by immersing them in warm (not hot) water or gently covering them with warm, moist towels for at least 20 minutes
    Handle affected areas gently
    Do not use hair dryers, heating pads, or electric blankets to warm up a hypothermic pet as this may result in burns
    Call your veterinarian immediately


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