What is the city’s record for most consecutive hours of subzero temperatures?

Dear Tom,

What is the city’s record for most consecutive hours of subzero temperatures?
— Jerry Pinzino, Homewood
Dear Jerry,
While this week’s subzero spell will be significant and is likely to eradicate some of the city’s long-standing temperature records, it won’t come close to the duration of the city’s longest subzero spell over Christmas 1983. Temperatures dropped below zero at 7 a.m. Dec. 22 and remained there for 100 consecutive hours until 11 a.m. Dec. 26. During this prolonged frigid spell, the city not only recorded its coldest Christmas Eve, with a high of minus 11 and a low of minus 25, but also its coldest Christmas, with a high of minus 5 and a low of minus 17. Strong west winds sent wind chills plunging to minus 80 and blowing snow created ground blizzards in rural areas. December 1983 remains Chicago’s coldest December on record.
December 1983 remains Chicago’s coldest December on record.

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