What has the weather been like for the last six Polar Plunges in Chicago?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Dear Tom,
What has the weather been like for the last six Polar Plunges in Chicago?

Thanks,
Stephen Verhaeren

Dear Stephen,
The Chicago Polar Plunge is held at North Avenue beach the first Sunday in March as thousands of people venture into Lake Michigan’s icy waters to raise money to support Chicago’s Special Olympics athletes. In most years the lake is still choked with ice with the water temperature hovering around 32 degrees. However, because of this this year’s historic February warmth, the lake was ice-free and the water a relatively balmy 40 degrees. Air temperatures for the last six Polar Plunges- 2011-34 degrees, 2012-32 degrees, 2013 34 degrees, 2015 25 degrees, 2016 52 degrees and 2017 60 degrees. Since its inception in 2001, the city’s coldest Polar Plunge was in 2014 with a high of just 14 and the warmest in 2005 when the mercury peaked at 64.