What are the coldest and hottest temperatures recorded in Chicago?

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Dear Tom,

What are the coldest and hottest temperatures recorded in Chicago? How do they compare to the comparable coldest and hottest world records?

Warren Klews

Dear Warren,
Chicago’s official temperature records began on Nov. 1, 1870, and have continued to the present time. The city’s highest and lowest temperatures in that period are 105 degrees on July 24, 1934, and -27 degrees on January 20, 1985.

Worldwide temperature extremes display much greater variability. The Earth’s highest temperature is a sizzling 134 degrees recorded at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California, on July 10, 1913. The lowest temperature stands at -129 degrees at Vostok Station, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. However, satellite-based temperature sensors beamed at the interior of Antarctica have recorded lower temperatures in recent years.

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