What winter had the most below-zero days?

Dear Tom,

Where so this winter sit in terms of below zero days? What winter had the most?

Thanks,
Dave Buetow
Geneva

Dear Dave,
Actually, we are below average, but we might get more this weekend. So far, this winter has produced six days with subzero temperatures, including the two frigid readings of minus 23 and minus 21 on January 30 and 31. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski informs us that based on long-term averages the city logs about eight subzero days each winter but, over the years, that number has varied from as many as 25 in the winter of 1884-85 to none in 13 winters, most recently 2011-12. The city’s last encounter with a multitude of subzero days was five years ago in the winter of 2013-14, when 23 were logged. Chicago’s latest in the season subzero temperature occurred on March 22, 1888 when the mercury dipped to 1 below zero.

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