Deep freeze to end; 30s expected by the weekend

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 6:39 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 7:11 a.m. CDT
Steam emits as geese sit on a partially-frozen Fox River in St. Charles on Tuesday afternoon.

Ol' Man Winter huffed and puffed and stunned the region with a frigid blast Monday and Tuesday, but above-normal temperatures are on the way.

"There will be no more arctic blasts anytime soon," said Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Romeoville office. "We sort of drained it. Things will climb back gradually here to normal. It will jump above normal by Friday with highs in the mid- to upper-30s across the west metro area. That will be 45 degrees warmer than Tuesday."

The numbing chill that closed schools and libraries, canceled meetings and delayed garbage pickup was the coldest in 20 years, Friedlein said.

"It is normal to have cold air shots in the Midwest in wintertime," Friedlein said. "This one was particularly robust for a brief period. ... With the very cold air and wind, it dropped the temperatures to 40 and 50 degrees below zero. That is the coldest temperatures seen in about 20 years."

Schools will reopen today, but the two days they were closed because of the extreme cold means the last day of the school year will be extended out two days, officials said.

Batavia District 101 spokesman Tony Inglese said the school code requires the calendar to extend the days at the end of the year. Batavia's last day will now be May 28, he said. In St. Charles School District 303, the last day will bump up to June 4, spokesman Jim Blaney said. June 2 would have been the last day for student attendance if no emergency days were used.

"These snow/cold days will have to be made up," Blaney said.

Blaney also reminded parents to send students to school dressed properly for the temperature outside. 

"This is especially important for students riding the bus, who need to be prepared for the possibility their bus might be running a little late," Blaney said. "Students need to be dressed appropriately for the weather conditions."

For Geneva School District 304, the last day of the school year now is June 3. Kaneland School District 302's last school day will be May 30.

The extreme temperatures also caused garbage and recycling pickups to be delayed by one day, waste haulers said.

In Geneva, Advanced Disposal will collect garbage Friday and Saturday, with the normal Thursday through Friday pickup resuming next week. Christmas trees will be picked up the weeks of Jan. 13 and 20 on normal collection days.

Advanced Disposal, which also picks up for St. Charles and Batavia, will have collections a day late.

According to Waste Management's website, pickups in some communities, such as North Aurora, will also be delayed by one day because of the cold.

Refuse and recycling are delayed one day in Sugar Grove as well.

• Kane County Chronicle reporter Ashley Sloboda contributed to this report.