Dear Tom,
Has Chicago ever had the daily highest or lowest temperatures recorded in the United States?
William Morrison, Orland Park

Dear William,
Chicago’s daily high and low temperatures have never made the listing of the nation’s daily temperature extremes. Considering the unpleasantness involved with extreme temperatures, most people would probably prefer to keep it that way. When extreme temperatures occur here, other locations in the Midwest are invariably even more extreme. But even then, it is meteorologically difficult for Midwestern cities to match the heat routinely registered in the deserts of the Southwest in the summer or the cold in high-altitude locations of the western U.S. during the winter.