- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Winter arrived in earnest in Illinois on Monday, signaling the beginning of a week that will include sub-zero temperatures and as much as a half-foot of snow.

Bitterly cold air blowing through the state was expected to get warmer on Tuesday before what is called an Alberta Clipper - a low pressure area that starts in Alberta, Canada, and just sounds like it would be cold - sends temperatures plummeting Wednesday night.

In the Chicago area, Tuesday temperatures in the teens are expected to give way to overnight lows of minus-10 to minus-14 degrees before warming to no higher than 5 degrees on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

In central Illinois, temperatures could climb as high as the mid-20s on Tuesday before dropping to highs of below 10 degrees on Wednesday. By Wednesday night, they could plunge to a frigid 13 degrees below zero, with the wind chill factor making it feel like 30-below, said, James Auten, a weather service meteorologist.

It is a similar story in southern Illinois. After temperatures climb as high as the mid-20s on Tuesday, they will drop Tuesday night and Wednesday morning into the mid-teens and keep dropping Wednesday night. “The lows will be a couple degrees either side of zero,” said Sean Poulos, a weather service meteorologist.

Northern and central Illinois residents will also have to contend with snow. Residents of the Chicago area could wake up Tuesday to as much as 6 inches of snow. It is the same in central Illinois, with as much as six inches expected in the northern edge of the region and less snow to the south. There is only a slight chance of snow in the southern end of the state Tuesday night, and if it does fall it won’t be measurable, according to the weather service.

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