Temperatures poised to plunge below zero

Published: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 8:01 a.m. CDT
(Sandy Bressner – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Jim Vial digs out of his St. Charles driveway Thursday morning after the area's New Year's Day snowfall.

Many Kane County residents have spent much of the new year shoveling snow. And while weather officials say some additional snow is likely in the next few days, the big news after that will be very cold weather.

Temperatures could remain below zero, from Sunday night through Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

Meteorologist Ed Fenelon said the last time temperatures were below zero for an entire day was on Jan. 15, 2009.

“We’ll get a significant arctic blast of air on Monday and Tuesday,” Fenelon said. “It’s going to be brutal.”

With the high temperature on Monday forecast to be 8 below zero, and the low Monday night expected to be 18 below zero, it sets up a potentially difficult return to school for local students who have been off on a holiday break.

Jim Blaney, spokesman for St. Charles School District 303, said district officials will monitor the weather. But Blaney said it is unlikely that the district would make an early announcement about whether school would be in session.

“We are well aware the forecast for Monday is for temperatures below zero,” said Blaney, who stressed that district officials always keep an eye on the weather, and that safety is the top priority. But as far as making determinations, “we wait for the conditions that are present,” he said, adding that, generally speaking, any announcements would take place early Monday.

A news release from the city of St. Charles acknowledged that “dangerously cold temperatures” would be in the area, and officials wanted to caution people “that if you must go out and be in the elements, to please dress for the weather.”

Also, it issued a reminder that there are warming centers that can be visited during business hours – the St. Charles Public Library (1 S. Sixth Ave.), Charlestowne Mall (3800 E. Main St.), the St. Charles Police Department (211 N. Riverside Ave.) and Lazarus House (214 Walnut St.).

As for the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day snow event, the National Weather Service issued 24-hour snow totals that showed St. Charles received the most snow in the area – 9 inches.

The weather service indicated that Sugar Grove received 4.8 inches of snow, but the village’s public works department said that number should be 8 inches. Other numbers include Elburn and Geneva at 7.5 inches, North Aurora at 7.2 inches and Batavia at 6.7 inches.

Fenelon said because there was significant lake-effect snow, the numbers will vary wildly from area to area. For instance, Gurnee measured 18 inches of snow.

Snow is not in the forecast for today, but on Saturday, the forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of snow in the afternoon.

“We’re still analyzing that storm, but certainly there could be a few inches of snow,” Fenelon said. “Folks are going to want to monitor that.”

There is a slight chance of snow Sunday, and then the cold begins. Sunday night’s low is 10 below zero, and after a frigid Monday, Tuesday’s forecast calls for a high of 3 below zero and a low of 11 below zero.

Wednesday’s forecast high is 14 degrees above zero.

Know more

The two-day snow totals in the area, through 9:25 a.m. Thursday. (Numbers are from the National Weather Service, except where indicated)
St. Charles, 9.0 inches
Sugar Grove, 8.0 inches*
Elburn 7.5 inches
Geneva, 7.5 inches
North Aurora, 7.2 inches
Batavia, 6.7 inches

*–Estimated by the Sugar Grove Public Works Department

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