Chicago - Coldest Decades





The coldest decades on record are ranked here for Chicago, Illinois. The lists include decades when Chicago had the lowest average temperatures, the fewest hot days and the most cold days. These extremes are for temperatures observed at Chicago's Midway Airport and cover eight decades, from the 1940s to the 2010s.

That is when Chicago had weather measurements that are consistent and complete enough to compare decades. Each decade comprises a standard 10-year range. For instance, the 1990s includes measurements from Jan 1, 1990 to Dec 31, 1999. An exception is the 2010s which so far includes data to the end of 2018. Links to the data behind these lists are in the References section on this page.

Coolest High Temperatures

Average daily maximum temperature at Chicago
High °F Decade High °C
Lowest 58.7 1970s 14.9
Runner-up 59.0 1960s 15.0

Coldest Low Temperatures

Average daily minimum temperature at Chicago
Low °F Decade Low °C
Lowest 40.9 1940s 5.0
Runner-up 41.5 1970s 5.3

Fewest Warm Days

Total days per year on average when Chicago had temperatures of at least 70 °F (21 °C)
Days Decade
Lowest 142 1990s, 1940s
Runner-up 144 2000s, 1980s, 1970s

Fewest Hot Days

Total days per year on average when Chicago had temperatures of at least 90 °F (32 °C)
Days Decade
Lowest 17 2000s
Runner-up 19 1960s

Most Freezing Days

Total days per year on average when Chicago had temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower
Days Decade
Highest 125 1940s
Runner-up 122 1950s

Most Cold Days

Total days per year on average when Chicago had temperatures of 0 °F (-18 °C) or lower
Days Decade
Highest 12 1970s
Runner-up 9 1960s
References

Current Results. 2019. Chicago IL Temperature Averages by Decade

Jay Lawrimore, Ron Ray, Scott Applequist, Bryant Korzeniewski, Matthew Menne. 2016. Global Summary of the Year, Version 1.0. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

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