Dear Tom,

How many days in the 80s (only the 80s) does our area average per year? Also, what is the record for the most 80s days in a single season?
Tim Doyle
Tinley Park

Dear Tim,

Many people consider a day with highs in the 80s, ideal summer weather. Jackets are not needed, and it is warm enough to swim. We had Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski check the weather records for Chicago’s Midway Airport dating back to its opening in 1928 for such a tally. Midway was chosen for the study as it is far enough inland from chilly Lake Michigan to avoid “lost 80s”, the result of a cooling lake breeze. Wachowski noted that the Midway site has averaged 63 days each year with highs in the 80s. The most ever recorded were 86 days in 2007 and the fewest 42 in 1937. So far this year, we are already well above average with 70 days on the books through September 9 and several more likely to be recorded before the inevitable fall cool-down sets in.