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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.

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.