Dear Tom,
Has the average temperature for Chicago for the entire year gone up over the years?
Kim Erkman Schaumburg

Dear Kim,
It has. We asked Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski to check the numbers, and he informed us that the city’s current normal annual temperature based on the 30-year 1991-2020 period is 51.2 degrees. Over the 151 years of record, the city’s annual temperature has ranged from 46.1 degrees in 1875, the city’s only year without a 90, to 54.5 degrees in both 1921 and 2012. Early in the city’s history from 1873-1905 when official readings were taken near the lake, the normal was 48.5 degrees and that gradually increased to 49.9 degrees by the 1981-2010 period. Since 2015, every year has averaged above 50 degrees, except for 2019 with 49.7 degrees. The recent higher average temperatures are more the result of warmer nights than warmer days.