Oh, joy. Tomorrow night into next week, Chicago could set some cold-weather records for the month of February:
Daytime highs Wednesday and Thursday are predicted to reach no higher than single digits [Fahrenheit] over much of the area–a rare development this late in a cold season. Just how rare?? There have been a grand total of 17 single digit daytime highs beyond Feb. 17 over the past 144 years which averages out to JUST ONE single digit high beyond Feb 17th per decade!
The chill’s not going away anytime soon. Were sub-freezing temps to hold the remaining 11 days of February–something which looks plausible at this distance—Feb 2015 could be in line to add another record to its lineup. Never, in the 144 years of official records here, has a February moved from the 17th to its conclusion having no generated freezing or above daytime highs.
The record low temperature for February is -29°C set 9th February 1899. We're in no danger of breaking that. But 17th February 1903 got down to -24°C, about Thursday night's forecast low.