Last night was the first time in 2011 that the official temperature did not fall below freezing at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling/Prospect Heights. Chicago’s official temperature at O’Hare did reach 32°F at 4:51 a.m. today.
The last day that did not reach freezing at Chicago Executive Airport was New Year’s Eve when the low was 44.1°F at 11:52 p.m. (The low temperature at O’Hare International Airport was 42.6°F at 11:51 p.m. on December 31, 2010.)
Temperatures fell the rest of the night on New Year’s, but did not reach freezing until about 5:00 a.m. on January 1, 2011. We’ve had lows below freezing ever since New Year’s Day until yesterday. We’ve had highs above freezing on January 3, January 10, January 17, January 18, January 29, February 12 and February 13.
The longest stretch of freezing weather (43 days) on record at O’Hare began on December 28, 1976 and lasted through February 8th, 1977. That’s right, during that period the temperature never rose above freezing. On February 9, 1977 the high temperature hit 41°F.
The official O’Hare lowest temperature all-time to date in Chicago is -27°F, which occurred on January 20, 1985.
Worth mentioning: The coldest 11-day period occurred in 1982. Chicago was dealt a 0.6°F average temperature from January 7-17, 1982. The period included a record low of -26 on Jan. 10 (surpassed by the -27°F record on Jan. 20, 1985) and a record low-max of -4°F on Jan. 10. That’s right, the high for the day was -4°F. The period also included a record low of -25°F (Jan. 16) and a record low of -23°F (Jan. 17). Ten of the eleven days had nightly lows below zero (-6, -3, -19, -26, -4, -1, 6, -10, -9, -25, -23).
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