1977—a year of extreme weather

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,

You recently mentioned the year 1977 in regards to hot weather in May? I’ve always associated 1977 with severe winter weather. It must have been quite a year.

Thanks,
Roger Peterson

Dear Roger,

1977 was, indeed, a year of extremes. In a span of just five months, Chicago’s weather demonstrated just how variable and extreme it could be. January, 1977 was stunningly cold, tallying a record 17-zero or below days, in a month where the mercury never reached the freezing mark. It remains the city’s all-time coldest month averaging just 10.1 degrees. It was also snowy, logging 19.9 inches of snow. After a typical start, May, 1977 turned incredibly hot by mid-month, with an unprecedented early-season heat wave that featured nine consecutive 90-degree plus days. It still stands as the city’s warmest May, with an average temperature of 69.3 degrees.

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