The chilly 1984 Memorial Day in Chicago

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Our current late May, cold and blustery spell, reminds me of a very cold Memorial Day that I experienced as a kid, probably the early 80s. Details?
—Thanks, Hannah G., Elgin
Dear Hannah,
You are recalling the Memorial Day of May 28, 1984, about as bad a weather day as Chicago can experience in late May. The high temperature peaked at just 51 degrees, a reading more typical of late March, after a very chilly morning low of 41. The day was a total washout with exactly one inch of rain falling. The rain, driven by strong northeast winds gusting as high as 41 mph, finally ended shortly after 8 p.m. That Memorial Day was the second in a string of five chilly and rainy ones, spanning the period from 1983 to 1987, with highs in the 50s and 60s. In stark contrast, the city’s warmest Memorial Days both occurred fairly recently, highs of 95 in 2012 and 2018.

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