Is it always below the freezing mark on Feb. 8 in Chicago?

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Dear Tom,
My birthday is Feb. 8 and it seems like it’s always below freezing, even in mild winters. Any truth to that?
— Jimmy Lee, Edison Park
Dear Jimmy,
By nature of your early February birthday, cold weather is to be expected. Indeed, nearly 90 percent of the 146 occurrences of Feb. 8 of record since 1871 have recorded a below-freezing minimum temperature and nearly half of them have remained below freezing for the entire day. There have been some mild ones, including a high of 53 in 2001 and a 61-degree high in 1990, just one degree shy of the date’s 62-degree record high recorded in 1900 and 1925. The lowest readings on your birthday — a high of zero in 1895 and a low of minus 17 in 1899. It is interesting to note that there has never been a major snowstorm on Feb. 8; the date’s largest snowfall is just 5.0 inches that fell in 1903.

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