What were the lowest temperatures and biggest snowstorms from 1952-65?

Dear Tom,
As a baby boomer, I attended Chicago Public Schools from February 1952 through the end of January 1965, and not once did we have school canceled for inclement weather. What were the lowest temperatures and biggest snowstorms during that period?
— Bob Johnson, Buffalo Grove
Dear Bob,
Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski scanned the record books, and he found that while there was plenty of cold weather, extreme cold was not a major factor during your school years. There were only two days with minimum temperatures of at least minus 15, both in 1963. Jan. 21 had a high of 12 and a low of 15 below and Jan. 23, a high of minus 4 and a low of minus 18. In terms of snowstorms, only two brought a foot of snow or more to the city. Both occurred in the days leading up to Christmas — 12.5 inches on Dec. 20-21, 1960, and 12.1 inches Dec. 21-23 in 1961.

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