PROGRAMMING NOTE: ‘Stories of Hope: Facing Breast’ cancer airs on WGN at 7PM tonight

Has Chicago ever recorded the nation’s highest or lowest temperature?

Dear Tom,
Has Chicago ever recorded the nation’s highest or lowest temperature? How about steady temperatures for 24 hours?
— Ricardo Mauzer, Huntley
Dear Ricardo,
For the national extremes, Chicago has come close—but no cigar. When the city’s temperatures challenge for national honors, other cities invariably register more extreme values. On March 21, 2012, when Chicago logged an unseasonable record high of 87, it was hotter in Florida, reaching 91 at Punta Gorda. Even under the most extreme weather, Chicago doesn’t register as hottest or coldest in the Midwest. When the city shivered through its all-time low of minus 27 on Jan. 20, 1985, it was minus 31 in Kenosha. A day of steady temperatures has occurred just once here — on Feb. 6, 1942, with a high and low of 35. That 35-degree reading actually persisted for 31 hours, from 9 p.m. Feb. 5 through 3 a.m. Feb. 7.

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