Forecasters are urging commuters to take caution when hitting the roads Thursday as the Chicago area suffers its latest deep freeze with frigid temperatures and gusting winds.
A winter weather advisory remained in effect early Thursday and the area will be under a wind chill advisory until noon, with wind gusts of up to 35 mph bringing wind chill values down to minus 25 degrees in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.
Those winds could reduce visibility to a half-mile or less in some open-road areas, with drifting snow making some roadways icy and slick, the weather service said.
The frigid temperatures may continue to affect portions of Metra’s commuter rail system this week, and the agency is urging riders to allow extra travel time.
“Unfortunately, weather conditions beyond our control will create unanticipated delays or service disruptions,” Metra wrote in an alert posted to its website. “Depending on the severity of conditions in specific areas, your train may experience delays.”
Meterologists warn that frostbite or hypothermia could occur “within minutes” of exposure to the cold. Forecasters urge residents to cover any exposed skin while outside, and to bring all pets indoors.
As of Wednesday night, weather conditions in Chicago and on the East Coast caused the cancelation of 220 flights at O’Hare Airport and 20 flights at Midway Airport, the city’s Department of Aviation said. Flights at both airports are delayed an average of 20 minutes.