Sure, having a daytime high temperature of 10 degrees with a windchill (or, "feels like") of 13 degrees below zero is unpleasant--but we've had it much worse.

We're currently enjoying the results of a "fractured polar vortex," which means, in a nutshell, that we're getting the sort of weather normally reserved for Santa Claus, or Canadians. Arctic cold and windchills--and plenty of it.

However, if we're going to break any cold weather records, the mercury is going to have to dip quite a bit further.

The coldest day ever here in Rockford was -27 degrees on January 10, 1982.

The coldest day ever in Chicago was January 20th, 1985 at 27 below zero, with wind chills around 70 below.

It was also pretty cold in January of 1994, as this vintage clip of the great Tom Skilling shows:


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