We had 80s earlier this month and now we are expecting snow. Is that unusual?
—Phil W., Downers Grove
It is not. Just two years ago in 2019, the mercury reached 80 degrees on April 22, which was followed by 2.5 inches of snow, five days later, on April 27. Longtime Chicago residents are well aware that an unseasonably warm spring day does not signal the end of winter snowfall.
Since 1884, there have been 10 years that recorded March 80s and six of those years produced additional snowfall. In 1910, the city received nearly 7 inches of snow following 81° on March 27, and in 1974, almost 5 inches of snow fell following the city’s earliest 80 on March 3. Only three years, 1895, 1981 and 2017, remained snow free, and in 1945, just a trace of snow was logged.