Which of the following daily temp extremes has historically outnumbered here in Chicago: Days where high temps fail to reach zero degrees or days where the high temp reaches or exceeds 100 degrees?

Dear Tom,

Which of the following daily temperature extremes has historically outnumbered (been a more common occurrence) here in Chicago: Days where high temperatures fail to reach zero degrees or days where the high temperature reaches or exceeds 100 degrees?

Thanks,
Samuel Lobdell
Evanston

Dear Samuel,

You’ve asked a great question that dramatically illustrates the wide variability of Chicago’s climate. Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski scoured the record books and found that, dating back to 1871, the city has logged 65 days with triple-digit high temperatures, most recently a high of 103 on July 6, 2012. That constitutes 18 more occurrences than the city’s 47 subzero highs; the most recent, a frigid high of minus 10 this past January 30 during the city’s encounter with the Polar Vortex. The extremes for each event– 105 on July 24, 1934 and minus 11 on Christmas Eve, 1983 and January 18, 1994.

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