The climate of Chicago, IL
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) at 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 of 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 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 during the year. Annual precipitation of 36" (914mm) occurs within 124 rainy days and summers are a little wetter than the other seasons. Snowfall is in the range of 36" (914mm), with an average of 28 snowy days during 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 was -27°F (-32.8°C) at O'Hare Airport on January 20, 1985.
The best time to visit Chicago, IL
The best time to visit Chicago
is in spring from March
and in autumn from September
, 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.
The worst time to visit Chicago, IL
is the worst time to visit Chicago
in the cold of winter.
Heavy snowfall occurs during the winter months, and the snowpack becomes at least 3" (76mm) thick. Snowstorms rarely occur in Chicago, but the temperatures drop below 10°F (-12.2°C) for 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.
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 during the year witness thunderstorms. Snowstorms rarely occur during the winter, but a single day of 10" (254mm) of snow occurs once in a few years.
Weather in January
, like December
, is a freezing cold winter month in Chicago
, with an average temperature ranging between max 29.7°F (-1.3°C) and min 20.7°F (-6.3°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high-temperature of 29.7°F (-1.3°C) and an average low-temperature of 20.7°F (-6.3°C). Weather in January »
Weather in February
, the last month of the winter in Chicago
, is a cold month, with an average temperature fluctuating between 23°F (-5°C) and 32°F (0°C). In Chicago, the average high-temperature in February is relatively the same as in January
- a wintry 32°F (0°C). Weather in February »
Weather in March
The first month of the spring, March
, is still a cold month in Chicago
, with an average temperature ranging between min 32.2°F (0.1°C) and max 41.5°F (5.3°C). In March, the average high-temperature increases from 32°F (0°C) in February
to a still wintry 41.5°F (5.3°C). Weather in March »
Weather in April
is a fresh spring month in Chicago
, with an average temperature fluctuating between 40.6°F (4.8°C) and 50.7°F (10.4°C). In Chicago, the average high-temperature in April rises from a cold 41.5°F (5.3°C) in March
to a cool 50.7°F (10.4°C). Weather in April »
Weather in May
The last month of the spring, May
, is an enjoyable month in Chicago
, with an average temperature ranging between min 50.4°F (10.2°C) and max 61°F (16.1°C). In May, the average high-temperature increases from a fresh 50.7°F (10.4°C) in April
to a comfortable 61°F (16.1°C). Weather in May »
Weather in June
, the first month of the summer in Chicago
, is a pleasant month, with an average temperature varying between 70.5°F (21.4°C) and 60.3°F (15.7°C). In June, the average high-temperature increases from an enjoyable 61°F (16.1°C) in May
to a pleasant 70.5°F (21.4°C). Weather in June »
Weather in July
, is a moderately hot summer month, with an average temperature varying between 67.8°F (19.9°C) and 77.4°F (25.2°C). In Chicago, the average high-temperature in July slightly increases from an agreeable 70.5°F (21.4°C) in June
to a warm 77.4°F (25.2°C). Weather in July »
Weather in August
The last month of the summer, August
, is another warm month in Chicago
, with an average temperature ranging between max 77.5°F (25.3°C) and min 67.6°F (19.8°C). August is the warmest month, with an average high-temperature of 77.5°F (25.3°C) and an average low-temperature of 67.6°F (19.8°C). Weather in August »
Weather in September
, the first month of the autumn in Chicago
, is still a pleasant month, with temperature in the range of an average low of 61.2°F (16.2°C) and an average high of 71.1°F (21.7°C). In Chicago, the average high-temperature in September marginally drops from a moderately hot 77.5°F (25.3°C) in August
to a pleasant 71.1°F (21.7°C). Weather in September »
Weather in October
, like September
, is a moderate autumn month in Chicago
, with temperature in the range of an average low of 48.9°F (9.4°C) and an average high of 59.5°F (15.3°C). In October, the average high-temperature drops from a pleasant 71.1°F (21.7°C) in September to a mild 59.5°F (15.3°C). Weather in October »
Weather in November
, the last month of the autumn in Chicago
, is another chilly month, with an average temperature fluctuating between 36.5°F (2.5°C) and 46°F (7.8°C). In Chicago, the average high-temperature in November decreases from a mild 59.5°F (15.3°C) in October
to a chilly 46°F (7.8°C). Weather in November »
Weather in December
The first month of the winter, December
, is also a wintry month in Chicago
, with an average temperature varying between 27.9°F (-2.3°C) and 35.8°F (2.1°C). In Chicago, Illinois, the average high-temperature in December decreases from a chilly 46°F (7.8°C) in November
to a cold 35.8°F (2.1°C). Weather in December »