Dear Tom,

I just returned from a Florida vacation where readings were in the 70s and 80s every day. Knowing the realities of a Chicago winter, has it ever reached here 70 in February?

Becky V.   Schaumburg

Dear Becky,

It has, but it is extremely rare. Since 1871, Chicago has hit 70 degrees in February only five times: The month’s record high of 75 on Feb. 27, 1976; a 70 on Feb. 11, 1999; 72 on Feb. 25, 2000; and most recently, highs of 70 on Feb. 18 and 20, 2017. Typically, the city does not record its first 70-degree day until the end of March. Last year the first official 70-degree day occurred on March 16. The city has recorded a 70-degree temperature in every month of the year except January, which sports a record high of just 67 degrees. December 70s are also rare, with just three on the books, so the entire December-February meteorological winter period has produced a grand total of just eight 70-degree days.