What two months in Chicago weather history logged the greatest positive and negative departures from normal?

Dear Tom,

What two months in Chicago weather history logged the greatest positive and negative departures from normal?

Thanks,
Jim Eckwall
Indian Head Park

Dear Jim,

A testament to the variability of Chicago’s climate, January takes the honors for having both the greatest positive and negative departures from normal. January 1880, the city’s warmest on record, averaged 39.8 degrees and was 16.1 degrees above normal. The snowless month boasted two days in the 60s, 10 in the 50s and the month’s lowest readings were a high of 33 on the 28th and a low of 19 on the 31st. In sharp contrast, January 1977 the city’s coldest, averaged 10.1 degrees and was 14.2 degrees below normal. There were 17 days with lows of zero or below and the month’s highest reading was just 30 degrees on the 24th. Snowfall totaled 19.9 inches.

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