Is it true that there is no major city in the world that has both hotter and colder extremes than Chicago?

​Dear Tom,

Recently you listed the all-time Chicago extreme temperatures of -27°F and 105°F. I have heard that there is no major city in the world that has both hotter and colder extremes than Chicago’s. Is that true?

Thanks,
Bill Bernard

Dear Bill,

It is true for the U.S., but not the world. Chicago’s vigorous continental climate has produced temperature extremes that span 132 degrees, and while many U.S. cities in the Plains and Alaska sport larger temperature differentials, Chicago dwarfs them all in both size and population. Minneapolis has logged a 142-degree differential with a high of 108 and a low of minus 34 and the nation’s largest span is 178 degrees at Fort Yukon Alaska with a high of 100 and low of minus 78. Internationally, Moscow, with more than 12 million people, has a temperature range of 145 degrees, from 101 to minus 44.