The last time Chicago reached -16 was back on Jan. 16, 2009, when the temperatures hit -18. Another cold weather fact to consider: Chicago has only reached -16 or colder 51 days since 1871.
It's even colder in Rockford as it reached -18 degrees this morning but the city has not yet broke a record. The lowest temperature reached on Jan. 6 in Rockford was -19 degrees, which was set in 1988.
Rockford last saw a temperature of -18 on Jan. 3 but before that, the last time the temperature reached -18 degrees or colder was on Feb. 2, 2011.
In Bolingbrook, the lowest temperature reached so far today was -17 degrees. A wind chill value of -47 degrees was recorded at 8:35 a.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service reports that the coldest airmass in nearly 20 years arrived Monday morning and is expected to peak slowly. Temperatures may not rise to above zero from Sunday night through sometime on Tuesday, if they do so at all.
This airmass will be accompanied by winds between 15 and 30 mph, resulting in dangerously low wind chill values between 30 and 50 degrees below zero. The worst conditions were expected to hit Sunday night through Monday afternoon.
Temperatures and wind chills this cold can easily result in exposed skin freezing within minutes and rapid onset of hypothermia, according to the National Weather Service.