Bitter cold breaks daily temperature records across Illinois

January 30, 2019
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Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Chicago. A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest with record-breaking temperatures on Wednesday, triggering widespread closures of schools and businesses, and prompting the U.S. Postal Service to take the rare step of suspending mail delivery to a wide swath of the region. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Wind chills dipped as low as 56 degrees below zero in northern Illinois as bitter cold weather moved into Illinois .

The National Weather Service said Illinois is “about as dangerously cold as it can be.” The temperature Wednesday was 26 below in Rochelle, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Rockford. Daily low temperature records fell in Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana.

Chicago and Rockford’s all-time low temperatures of 27 below still stood Wednesday afternoon but weather service meteorologist Todd Kluber said they could fall overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

The low temperatures come after schools, museums, courts and other facilities across Illinois preemptively closed Wednesday. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued a disaster proclamation.

The frigid weather is expected through Thursday before temperatures are forecast to climb more than 60 degrees, to 45 on Monday in the Chicago area.

Update hourly