High winds continue as brief ‘spring’ break ends

<p>AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh</p>

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Strong winds and falling temperatures will spell the end of Chicago’s two-day respite of warmer temperatures.

“Our brief fling with spring is over,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Richard Castro said.

A wind advisory is in effect until 3 p.m. Friday, with wind gusts of up to 57 mph, according to the weather service. Friday’s high of 35 could be dragged down to the mid-teens when factoring in windchills, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

And as temperatures plunge this weekend and next week, piles of malleable snow will freeze into glaciers, and puddles will become sheets of ice, Castro said.

“Cold weather is back, and it looks like it’s here to stay for a while. Highs in the lower 20s and teens are expected next week … it will be very, very, very cold for this time of year,” Castro said.

Fierce west winds won’t die down until late Friday afternoon and could cause turbulence for drivers on north-south roads. Forecasters warned that early morning flurries could create visibility problems as gusts whip up snow.

Police said the gusts of more than 50 mph may have caused a window pane to fall from a third-floor department store on the Magnificent Mile about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Northbound lanes in the 800 block of North Michigan Avenue remained closed at 6 a.m. Friday as crews worked to clear shattered glass from the street.

Castro advised people to secure loose objects on decks and patios that could be affected by wind.

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