Could recent November record lows be the year’s coldest temperature?s

Dear Tom,

What are the odds that the record low temperatures of November 11-12 will turn out to be the coldest temperatures for the entire winter?

Dan Anderson

Dear Dan,

The odds are very slim that the November 12 high of 17 and low of 7 will be this cold season’s lowest. Checking Chicago weather records dating back to 1871, only six cold seasons have failed to produce a lower maximum. The extremes were in the winter 1982-83 when the lowest maximum was 20 and most recently in the winter of 2011-12’s when the coldest day had a high of 19. In terms of the low temperature, no cold season has ever recorded a minimum temperature higher than 6 degrees and that low occurred in the winter of 1905-06 on February 2. The lowest readings in the cold season of 2011-12 was 5 degrees, and 3 degrees in 1982-83.

 

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