Lowest barometric pressures in Chicago

Dear Tom,
On a recent cruise around the U.K. we were caught in 60 mph gale with a low barometer reading of 29.10 inches? When was the last time Chicago recorded such a low barometric pressure?
Dave Perlman, Chicago
Dear Dave,
Although Chicago’s barometric pressure does not routinely drop that low, readings below 29.10 have occurred in Chicago on numerous occasions. The last time was nearly seven years ago with a reading of 29.01 inches on Dec. 20, 2012. Prior to that, the barometer fell to 29.00 inches on Oct. 26, 2010, and 28.92 inches on Dec. 9, 2009. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski informs us that the city’s all-time lowest barometric pressure of 28.70 inches occurred on March 12, 1923. In contrast, the city’s highest air pressure has been 30.98 inches on Feb. 16, 1989.

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