What year has the most recorded all-time low and high temperatures?

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Dear Tom,
What year has the most recorded all-time low and high temperatures?
— John Dawson, Huntley
Dear John,
Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski notes that temperature records are maintained for every day of the year, including Feb. 29. These temperatures records rank each day’s maximum temperature, minimum temperature, lowest maximum temperature and highest minimum temperature. Using these four criteria, a computer sweep of Chicago’s entire official temperature data base from Nov. 1, 1870, to the present indicates that 1983 stands ahead of all other years with 32 daily temperature records that were either broken or tied. Included were 10 record highs, 15 record lows, four lowest maximums and three highest minimums. The year 1953 leads all years with 22 daily record highs and 1873 and 1982 registered the greatest number of record lows with 16.

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