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Chicago Weather Forecast: More Record-Setting Cold Ahead Of Snow Thursday Night

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's another day of record-setting cold for Chicago, as Thursday immediately started as the coldest Jan. 31 ever at O'Hare, and kept getting colder.

The temperature was already -18° when Thursday started, and by shortly before 4 a.m., it was down to -21°, the coldest it's ever been on this date. The previous record was -12° on Jan. 31, 1985.

Thursday also has tied for 10th coldest ever in Chicago, following a day that tied for 5th coldest ever, when temperatures hit -23° on Wednesday.

Chicago missed out on tying the city's all-time record for cold, the -27° recorded at O'Hare on Jan. 20, 1985. Meantime, Rockford broke its all-time low temperature of -27°, as its temperature hit -31° Thursday morning.

The good news is, wind chills won't be as bad as Wednesday. The wind chill reached -41° early Thursday, but hit -52 on Wednesday.

While temperatures could get up to 0 by the end of the day, Chicago also will get fresh snow Thursday night, with most of the Chicago area getting 1 to 3 inches, and areas south of Kankakee possibly getting 3 to 4 inches.

The weekend will bring welcome relief from the deep freeze, as temperatures will rise into the upper 20s on Friday, the upper 30s on Saturday, and the upper 40s on Sunday.

Before that, though, Chicago likely will have endured the one of the five longest stretches of below-zero temperatures on record. We've already had 36 consecutive hours of negative temperatures, and could endure a total of 48 or more before it's over.

City officials have deployed warming buses and added 500 beds to its shelter system to help the homeless stay safe from the extreme cold.

The city also has announced a network of 270 warming centers across the city, including libraries, Chicago Park District field houses, police stations, community centers and churches.

To find a warming center near you, call 311.

Chicago Park District facilities also will provide activities for children and teenagers between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Chicago Public Schools officials have cancelled classes for Wednesday and Thursday due to the weather. For a full list of school closings in the Chicago area, click here.

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