Were the winters of 1976-7 through 1978-79 the harshest in Chicago weather history?

Dear Tom,

In my memory the winters of 1976-7 through 1978-79 were the harshest in Chicago weather history. Is this correct?

Thomas Langforte,

Dear Thomas,

The three winters starting with the winter of 1976-77 hit with a severity this area had never seen before and has never seen since. In combination, they are the three coldest consecutive winters (Dec-Jan-Feb) in Chicago weather history. They combined extended spells of barbaric cold with snowfalls of 82.3 inches in 1977-78 and the record-breaking 89.7 inches in 1978-79, amounts never before experienced here. Winter 1978-79 produced 16 straight sub-freezing days in January and 23 days in late January-February. The record for consecutive sub-freezing days is 43, from Dec. 28, 1976, to Feb. 8, 1977. The winter of 1978-79 also featured the record for continuous snow cover of 100 days.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.