Dear Tom,

What’s rarer in Chicago, a high below zero or a low temperature 80 or above?

Chuck Kennell

Dear Chuck,

Both events are rare, but the clear winner of this contest is 80-degree lows.  We had Chicago climatologist and weather historian Frank Wachowski check the city’s temperature records which date back to late 1870, and to date Chicago has logged 48 days with subzero highs and just 33 days with lows of 80 degrees or higher. The city’s last subzero high occurred just before Christmas last year, with a high of minus one on December 23. The last minimum of 80 degrees or higher dates back to 2019, when a low of 81 was observed on July 19.