Has Chicago even gone through a winter without a subzero temperature?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Has Chicago even gone through a winter without a subzero temperature? It is looking like it might happen this winter.

Michael O’Brien, Chicago
Dear Michael,
We have. It doesn’t happen often, but over the city’s 151 winters of record, dating back to the winter of 1870-71, the city had logged just 13 where the mercury failed to drop below zero, most recently in 2011-12 when the lowest reading was five degrees. In contrast, the most subzero days in any winter was 25 in 1884-85 and 24 in both 1935-36 and 1962-63. Typically the city can expect about eight subzero days each winter. The city’s earliest subzero was on November 23, 1950 when the mercury fell to minus 1, and the latest a low of 1 below on March 22, 1888. Chicago’s last subzero day was a low of minus 2 last year on Valentine’s Day.

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