Chicago
Illinois, USA
Long-term weather forecast
Long-term weather forecast

Monthly weather forecast and Climate
Chicago, IL

An aerial view of the city of Chicago in Illinois, on the shores of Lake Michigan, with a superb view of the sandy beach of Oak Street
An aerial view of the city of Chicago in Illinois, on the shores of Lake Michigan, with a superb view of the sandy beach of Oak Street
Chicago has a hot-summer humid continental type of climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with hot and humid summers and cold winters.
It lies in northeastern Illinois, on the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan in the Great Lakes region and is part of the Midwestern United States. Lake Michigan moderates the climate of Chicago with cooler summers and warmer winters compared to other places in Illinois. Chicago, the Windy City, stretches on the continental divide at the confluence of the Great Lakes and Mississippi river waters. The city is at an average elevation of 176 meters above sea level with naturally flat topography.

Chicago summers tend to be hot as the average high temperature touches 85°F (29.4°C) in the peak of July. High temperatures reach 90°F (32.2°C) for a few days while they rarely cross 100°F (37.8°C).
Winters are cold with the average low temperature around 17°F (-8.3°C) in January, and even daily highs are sometimes below freezing of 32°F (0°C). The breezes from Lake Michigan have a localized cooling effect on the immediate lakefront neighborhoods; dense fog in the city is a common effect of the breeze during the winter.

Humidity averages around 70% over the year, which makes the weather muggy. The sunshine reaches the ground in Chicago for an annual 2400 hours and generally, 84 days have clear skies in the year. Annual precipitation of about 36" (914.4mm) occurs within 124 rainy days and summers are a little rainier than the other seasons. Snowfall is in the range of 36" (914.4mm) with an average of 28 snowy days in the year.

The highest officially recorded temperature in Chicago is 105°F (40.6°C) at Midway Airport on July 24, 1934, while the lowest recorded temperature is -27°F (-32.8°C) at O'Hare Airport on January 20, 1985.

The best time to visit Chicago is in spring from March to May and in autumn from September to October, although visitors throng the city from March to November.
Spring is wet and warm while autumn is pleasant with warm days and cold nights. Summer is usually the peak tourist season but the temperatures are a bit higher than the shoulder seasons, and visitors throng the city in large numbers.

December to February is the worst time to visit Chicago in the cold of winter.
Heavy snowfall occurs in the winter months, and the snowpack becomes at least 3" (76.2mm) thick. Snowstorms rarely occur in Chicago, but the temperatures drop below 10°F (-12.2°C) for about one-fourth of the nights during winter, and few even drop to 0°F (-17.8°C) and below. Summer crowds disperse during the cold months in vast numbers.

Chicago is amongst the top ten safest cities in the United States with few incidences of tornadoes, floods, wildfires or earthquakes. However, spring and summer are prone to thunderstorms and an average of 38 days in the year witness thunderstorms. Snowstorms rarely occur in the winter, but a single day of 10" (254mm) of snow occurs once in a few years.

The average temperatures are in the frigid zone of 17°F (-8.3°C) to 31°F (-0.6°C) - most of the days remain below the freezing temperature of 32°F (0°C) while nights range in the -10°F (-23.3°C) to 10°F (-12.2°C). Weather in January »

February sees cold winter temperatures in the average range of 20°F (-6.7°C) to 35°F (1.7°C). Majority of the nights register below 20°F (-6.7°C) while a few days touch 40°F (4.4°C). Weather in February »

March is windier in Chicago at the beginning of spring, but the temperatures are warmer than winter. Most days register above 40°F (4.4°C), while a few range between 50°F (10°C) to 60°F (15.6°C). Weather in March »

The average temperatures are in the 39°F (3.9°C) to 59°F (15°C) with most of the days above 40°F (4.4°C) and nights above freezing. Weather in April »

May is a warm spring month in Chicago with pleasant temperatures in the average range of 48°F (8.9°C) to 70°F (21.1°C). Days are routinely above 50°F (10°C), and some even register 80°F (26.7°C). Weather in May »

June is the sunniest month in Chicago with days spanning the average range of 58°F (14.4°C) to 80°F (26.7°C). Many days register temperatures above 85°F (29.4°C), a few cross 90°F (32.2°C) while 100°F (37.8°C) is rare except during a heat wave. Weather in June »

July is the hottest month of the year in Chicago as the temperatures cook up to 95°F (35°C). The average high temperature is around 84°F (28.9°C) while the average low temperature is about 63°F (17.2°C). Weather in July »

The average temperatures are in the 63°F (17.2°C) to 82°F (27.8°C) zone - days are over 70°F (21.1°C) most of the time but rarely touch 90°F (32.2°C); nights seldom drop below 50°F (10°C). Weather in August »

The weather is usually calm with warm temperatures that average in the 54°F (12.2°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) range. A few days cross 80°F (26.7°C), but it is rare to record temperatures above 90°F (32.2°C). Weather in September »

The average temperatures are in the 43°F (6.1°C) to 62°F (16.7°C) zone - most days are above 50°F (10°C) while a few nights may drop below freezing. Weather in October »

The average temperatures in the city are between 32°F (0°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) while Lake Michigan shore areas tend to be a little warmer. Weather in November »

December is the start of the cold winter in Chicago with the first substantial snowfall. The average temperatures are in the freezing 21°F (-6.1°C) to 35°F (1.7°C) range. Weather in December »

The month with the highest number of snowfall days is January (8.1 days).
Months with the lowest number of snowfall days are May, June, July, August and September (0 days).

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