Lisa Labuz: You’re listening to WBEZ, and it’s time for our weekly climate conversation. Now, it doesn’t feel like a Chicago winter unless there's cold and snow. And until recently, we haven't really seen a whole lot of either. But we're going to see how this winter compares with years past, and we're going to get the latest forecast. I've got Brett Borchardt a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Romeoville on the line. Hi Brett.
Brett Borchardt: Hey Lisa.
Lisa Labuz: All right. It seems like the cold weather is finally here. What's the outlook for this week?
Brett Borchardt: Yeah, we're expecting cold temperatures especially tonight and tomorrow night. And again on Friday. Really expecting a roller coaster, and temperatures with lows tonight around 0 in the City of Chicago. And close to minus 5 or even minus 10 in the suburbs. And it looks like on Friday those wind chills will build down to minus 20 or minus 25 below.
Lisa Labuz: Ok, so that is pretty cold. All right. So how does how does this winter overall compare with previous winters in Chicago?
Brett Borchardt: Well, this winter so far has been pretty warm. Sure, we had that really cold stretch around Christmas time and we have the cold stretch coming up here. But when you look at the numbers from meteorological winter perspective, that goes from December one through really the end of February, Chicago is running nearly 3.5 degrees above average in the temperature. And if winter were to stop today, which I know some folks would like that. This would be the 20th, ranked number 20th, as the warmest winter in about 150 years of records. So we're definitely running pretty warm.
Lisa Labuz: All right, so I'm a fan of snow. I'm really glad we've got some snow on the ground right now, but I haven't seen much. How our snow total comparing with previous years.
Brett Borchardt: You're absolutely right. We haven't seen a lot of snow. The official climate cite for the city of Chicago is Chicago O'Hare airport. And so far this winter only logged just over a foot of snow, 13.8 inches to be exact, which is roughly six inches below normal. Now, we still have a lot of winter to go. Typically, February is a really snowy month for us, especially the past few winters. Our average is right around 38 inches, so there's still time to make a run for the average.
Lisa Labuz: All right. All right. Do you have any recommendations for staying safe when it's really cold this week?
Brett Borchardt: You know, since it hasn't been that cold, we really haven't acclimated to wintertime temperatures. So, we always preached bundled up from head to toe and multiple layers. Make sure you wear a warm hat, we lose a lot of heat through our heads. And just treat it with respect. You know, this cold temperatures come every year, but it still seems like it sneaks up on us. So stay warm out there.
Lisa Labuz: Yeah, absolutely bundle up and snuggle up. All right. I've been speaking with meteorologist Brett Borchardt with the national weather service. Thank you so much, Brett.
Brett Borchardt: Hey, no problem. Thanks for having me Lisa.
Lisa Labuz: This is WBEZ.
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