Weather records have been kept in Chicago, Illinois since 1872. These are the all-time record hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in Chicago since 1872.
Chicago’s weather is greatly effected by its location along the shores of Lake Michigan. Cities located next to large bodies of water tend to have more moderate temperatures compared to inland areas which are not near large bodies of water.
This is born out by the differences between the all-time hottest and the all-time coldest temperatures in Chicago, compared to the all-time hottest and all-time coldest temperatures in the state of Illinois. The difference between the all-time hottest and coldest temperatures in Chicago is 132 degrees. The difference between the all-time hottest and coldest temperatures in the state of Illinois is 153 degrees; a significant difference of 21 degrees.
I’ve never lived in Chicago, but I have visited the city a number of times. Once, in the month of May, I went to a Chicago Cubs baseball day game at Wrigley Field with some friends.
The weather was beautiful as we went into the game, the sun was out and the temperature was in the 70s. By the seventh inning, clouds had rolled in off the lake, and the temperature had dropped into the 40s, leaving those of us in shorts and tee shirts shivering. When we talked about the vast drop in temperature, a native Chicagoan laughed and said, “Welcome to Chicago.”
The All-time Hottest Temperature Ever Recorded in Chicago is 105 Degrees
The hottest temperature ever recorded in the city of Chicago, Illinois is 105 degrees, which occurred on July 24, 1934.
Days when the temperature reaches or exceeds 100 degrees are not very common in Chicago. There have only been 65 days since 1872 when the temperature reached or exceeded 100 degrees in the Windy City. As anyone living in Chicago knows, though, four of those 100 degree weather days occurred in the summer of 2012.
- Hottest Temperature Ever Recorded in Illinois is 117 Degrees
The hottest temperature ever recorded in the state of Illinois is 117 degrees, which occurred on July 14, 1954, in the city of East St. Louis. So the difference between the record hottest temperature in Chicago (105) and the record hottest temperature in Illinois (117) is 12 degrees.
The All-time Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in Chicago is -27 Degrees
The all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in Chicago is -27 degrees, which occurred on January 20, 1985. Below zero temperature days in Chicago are not at all rare. In fact, there have only been eight years since 1872 when the temperature failed to fall to zero degrees or less. One of those eight years was 2012.
To illustrate how very cold it can get in Chicago, there have been 39 days since 1872 when the temperature was -16 degrees or less. On the day Chicago recorded its record all-time lowest temperature of -27 degrees, the wind chill reached -60 degrees. It does not take long to get frostbite when skin is exposed to that kind of cold.
- Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in Illinois is -36 Degrees
The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Illinois is -36 degrees, which occurred on January 5, 1999, in Congerville. The small town of Congerville is located almost in the exact center of the state of Illinois.
The difference between the all-time coldest temperature ever record in Chicago (-27) and the all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Illinois (-36) is nine degrees. That is a little less than the difference between the hottest temperatures in Chicago and the state of Illinois (12 degrees), but it is still a big statistically significant difference.