(CBS) — When weather has an effect on outdoor activities in mid-January, it usually means something is cancelled because of skin-numbing low temperatures or an overabundance of snow.
But a few of the city’s outdoor ice rinks were knocked out of service this week because high temperatures that turned the ice to slush.
Thursday night’s rain, along with abnormally high temperatures the past couple of days have forced the Chicago Park District to shut down three outdoor rinks — Rowan Park in Hegewisch, Mount Greenwood Park in Mount Greenwood, and Midway Plaisance Park in Hyde Park, park district spokeswoman Marta Juaniza said.
The district’s other four rinks remain open, she said.
On Thursday night, nearly an inch of rain fell in the city, and as of about 3 p.m. Friday, the official temperature in Chicago was 51 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The normal high for January is about 31 degrees.
The bizarrely warm temperatures worry one climate expert.
“What’s scary is that, in essence, the amount of change in the atmosphere that we’re making in 100 years is comparable to what natures takes millions and millions of years to do,” University of Chicago Prof. Raymon Pierrehumbert tells CBS 2’s Ed Curran. “We are taking the climate geographically speaking into really very scary places.”
Saturday’s forecast calls for highs from the mid-40s to lower 50s, and more “normal” temperatures, with highs in the 20s and lower 30s, are expected from Sunday through next week.
“We’re hoping to get those three rinks up and running [Saturday],” Juaniza said.
Still, she advises skaters to call the rink beforehand, just to make sure there’s ice.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)