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Dear Tom,

What is the coldest temperature ever recorded at Chicago and in the world?

Keith Jefferies, Chicago

Dear Keith,

In official temperature records dating from November 1, 1870, to the present, Chicago’s lowest temperature reading stands at -27 degrees on January 20, 1985. The world’s lowest temperature is -128.6 degrees at the (then) Soviet Vostok Station, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983.

WORLDWIDE LOW TEMP RECORDS

  • North America  -80, Feb. 3, 1947; Snag, Canada
  • South America  -27, June 6, 1907;  Sarmiento, Argentina
  • Europe  -73, date not recorded; Ust ‘Shchugo, Russia
  • Asia  -90, Feb. 5 and 7, 1892; Verkhoyansk, Russia; Feb. 6, 1933, Oimekon, Russia.
  • Australia  -9, June 29, 1994; New South Wales
  • Africa  -11, Feb. 11, 1935; Ifrane, Morocco
  • Anarctica  -128.6  July 1, 1983; Vostok Station