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Dear Tom,

What is the warmest day ever recorded in January, in Chicago and the whole country?

Brad S., Crystal Lake

Dear Brad,

Chicago’s highest January temperature is a balmy 67, reached on January 25, 1950, at Midway Airport. Interestingly, January is the only month in which Chicago’s temperature has failed to reach 70, but many Midwestern cities have registered January temperatures in the lower 70s. As you might suspect, much higher temperatures have occurred in January in southern cities. Falcon Lake, Texas, holds the U.S. January heat title with a sizzling 99 recorded there just a year ago on New Year’s Day in 2022. For major-league January heat, however, one must look even farther south. On a midsummer day (Jan. 16, 1889), Cloncurry, Australia, boiled at 128, a reading that also established an all-time Australian heat record. Antarctica’s highest recorded temperature was a relatively mild 59 at Vanda Station on Jan. 5, 1974.