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Chicagoans Bask In Balmy Weather After The Vortex

Mere days after record-cold temperatures, Chicagoans shed the layers and enjoyed Monday’s warm-up.

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Chicago River ice

Ice was breaking up and drifting on the Chicago River on Monday, Feb. 4, as temperatures climbed to 50 degrees only days after subzero cold.

Marley Arechiga/WBEZ

With thinning ice drifting and cracking across open water along the lakefront, there are few signs that only days ago Chicago experienced record-breaking cold.

Monday’s temperature climbed up to the 50s, more than 70 degrees warmer than last week’s coldest day during the polar vortex. Chicagoans, some clad in shorts and without jackets, basked in Monday’s balmy weather downtown and along Lake Michigan. WBEZ asked some of them how they felt about the dramatic swing in the weather.

Sharriese Hamilton, actor, at Navy Pier

Sharriese Hamilton. (Marley Arechiga/WBEZ)

“It’s just nice to feel a little bit of a breeze. It’s weird for February, but I’ll take it. Last Wednesday, I wasn’t doing anything. Like, I was in the house locked up. Don’t ask for nothin’ ‘cause I ain’t got nothin’ for you! So this is much different. Being outside period.”

Greg Patricoski, attorney, downtown

Greg Patricoski. (Marley Arechiga/WBEZ)

“I can finally go outside; I love it. It’s beach weather out here! I’m walking around in a light shirt. ... I probably will go for a run on the lake (later).”

Tony Menias, photographer, at Navy Pier

Tony Menias. (Marley Arechiga/WBEZ)

“I mean, it’s a whole other world. It’s kind of amazing. Everything’s melted, and the dogs are running and we’re having a good time out here. I was actually doing the exact same thing (last Wednesday) but I had 30 layers on!”

Sandra Laumann, student, downtown

Sandra Laumann. (Marley Arechiga/WBEZ)

“It’s way better (outside). Not worried that pipes are gonna burst or, you know, the heat’s gonna go out and stuff like that. So, it feels relaxing.”

Geoff Sandilands, supply chain specialist, at Navy Pier

Geoff Sandilands. (Marley Arechiga/WBEZ)

“The weather is so different; it’s fabulous! It’s just great to get out. I’m here with the dogs today. ... I’m in my shorts. I’m not in long johns, so, thoroughly enjoying the chance to be able to do that. It’s great.”

Marley Arechiga is a news intern at WBEZ. Follow her @marleyarechiga.

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