Chicago’s incredibly cold January 1982

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Dear Tom,
I remember January 1982 as being exceptionally cold. We postponed our daughter’s Jan. 10 christening for a week because of extreme cold, but the next weekend was just as bad. Details?
— Chuck Grimm, Lemont
Dear Chuck,
It was an incredibly cold month. January 1982 averaged 12.2 degrees and ranks as the city’s fourth coldest month (and January) on record. The only colder months here have been January 1977 (10.1 degrees), January 1912 (11.9 degrees) and January 1893 (12.0 degrees).
January 1982 is best known for its back-to-back horrific Sundays that not only featured extreme cold, but also strong winds, snow, ground blizzards, treacherous travel and life-threatening wind chills. Sunday, Jan. 10, 1982, logged a high of minus 4 and a low of minus 26 accompanied by nearly an inch of snow. The next Sunday, Jan. 17, was about as bad with a high of 4, a low of minus 23 and 2 inches of snow.

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