Why is Chicago’s weather so changeable?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Why is Chicago’s weather so changeable?


Charlotte, Age 8,
Chicago

Chicago sits toward the middle of North America, distant from the modifying influence of oceanic air whose temperature variations are small compared to the variations in the air over the continental interior. That being said, Chicago’s location on Lake Michigan modifies its climate, making the city somewhat cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than areas away from the lake. Precipition is also affected, especially in the winter when lake-induced snow sometimes sweeps across the city. The north/south orientation of high elevations in western North America wring moisture from Pacific air crossing those highlands and aid in the north/south movement of air masses to the east of the highlands. 

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