Does Chicago hold any weather records?

Dear Tom,

No matter how hot or cold it gets here, some place always is hotter or colder. The same is true for rain and snow totals. Does Chicago hold any weather records?

Jimmy Bellfort,
Bolingbrook

Dear Jimmy,

Chicago, like most locations in the United States, experiences a “temperate climate,” the variable climate in the Earth’s middle latitudes that lies between the extremes of the hotter, wetter tropical climates and colder, drier polar climates. Local climates within the broad U.S. temperate zone exhibit a huge range of individual characteristics, but few spots can lay claim to weather records that have not been exceeded at some other location. None of Chicago’s weather records qualify as national extremes. All our temperature, precipitation and wind extremes, nasty though they might be, have been exceeded elsewhere in the country.

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