Dear Tom,
I watch Chicago’s record daily high and low temperatures closely, as
well as temperature records at other places around the world. Will there
ever be a time when those records will never be broken again, either at
Chicago or around the world? That is to say, will there come a point in
the future when the temperature records will not be exceeded?
Marilyn Torber, Carpentersville

Dear Marilyn,
That time will never come. It’s almost a cliche, but records are made to
be broken. Worldwide record high and low temperatures are often measured
at locations unsuitable for habitation, but where accurate thermometers
have been placed. Higher and lower temperature extremes undoubtedly
occur at other places at which thermometers have not been placed and so
we have no observations.

And where temperature sensors have been placed, record higher or lower
readings are occasionally registered.  As those readings become more
extreme, new temperature records are registered less and less
frequently, but they do still occur. That has always been the case, and
it will continue to be.

Chicago’s temperature records began on November 1, 1870, and have
continued since then. New daily temperature  records are not established
as frequently as they were years ago, but they still do occasionally
happen.