Have there been any Chicago winters when the mercury never hit zero?

Dear Tom,
So far this season we have not had any zero or sub-zero days. Have there been any Chicago winters when the mercury never hit zero?
Lloyd Fry, Chicago; Ricardo Mauzer, Huntley
Dear Lloyd and Ricardo,
They don’t happen often, but they do occur. Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski advised us that dating from the winter of 1870-71, the city has logged only ten winters (less than seven percent) during which the mercury failed to fall to zero, most recently the winter of 2011-12, when the season’s lowest reading was 5 degrees. Six of those winters occurred during the 1930s and 1950s, including the city’s longest streak of above-zero temperatures (almost three years from Jan. 24, 1930, to Dec. 14, 1932). Chicago’s last encounter with zero or sub-zero weather was last year on March 4, 2019, when the mercury dropped to 3 below.

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