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  • Crazy Chicago Weather

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on January 3rd, 2016 (All posts by )

    Earlier this year when I was laid up I bought an indoor / outdoor weather station called Netatmo and wrote about it here. It is a lot of fun and I recommend it highly. It is likely that some of these temperatures are impacted by the sun (although I went to a lot of trouble to keep it out of direct sunlight) although this shouldn’t impact the lows which generally occur at night.

    I was struck when I looked at the temperature for October – December. I have lived in the midwest my whole life (traveled a lot) and have never seen this many typically cold months so unseasonably warm. We haven’t had any days below 20 degrees (or at least not on my balcony). This aligns with my experience at the Bears games, which have almost all been nice and warm (and home losses).

    We had one day recently with high winds and blowing sleet that was terrible – it felt like I was being sandblasted. We still have snow and big chunks of rock-hard ice on the ground that haven’t melted yet. But that was the exception, and it is likely to all melt away this week.

    Not to say that the weather hasn’t been rough in other ways – Illinois and the whole midwest faces flooding from continuous rainfall and my parents’ basement has been inundated numerous times after being mostly dry for decades.

    Cross posted at LITGM


    10 Responses to “Crazy Chicago Weather”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Better watch that carbon footprint, comrade.

    2. Mike K Says:

      When California has an el nino and a cold wet winter, Chicago almost always has mild winter. This has been going on since I moved to California in 1956. We didn’t use to notice it as much.The last wet winter Los Angles had was 2004-2005 when I was trying to get a sailboat painted so we could enter it in the 2005 Transpac. It rained from December to May. Not every day but enough days so we could never get it painted.

    3. brer rabbit Says:

      mini ice ages come every 500 yrs. They last 250 years. Previous mini ice ages began 1525, 1000, 475, -100, -620, etc. They are marked by invasions of men and women with beards. Recently Obama opened the gates to millions of men and women with beards.

      Temps during mini ice ages run 30 degrees cooler.

    4. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      We’re getting similar weather here in the mid-Atlantic. It’s el nino weather, I believe.

    5. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      Up here in NH, people talk about how strange this winter is every year. And it’s true.

    6. CapitalistRoader Says:

      2014 was a very, very cold year in Illinois, no matter whose data you use.

    7. TMLutas Says:

      It’s an el nino year. The effects on Chicago weather are predictable and pretty much what you’ve described:

    8. Mike K Says:

      New Hampshire weather, based on my one year in New Hampshire, is weird. The annual January thaw for example.

    9. Grurray Says:

      Sgt Mom’s last comment reminds me of a cold winter around here long ago when the the gales of November came early.

    10. Bill Brandt Says:

      You are getting our usual warmth and we are getting colder. Last few days it has actually been “normal” (No CA) with a week-long series of storms cominkg through. But the previous week I am playing with my iPhone weather app and learning that Bangor Maine has the same late night temperature as us (high 30s).

      I think the coldest winter days I ever spent was in Chicago. Years ago visited my sister who lived in Homewood at the time right after Christmas.

      Learned the Chicago dress code – the more layers you use, the better.

      Didn’t seem to help much.

      Then I went downtown and faced that wind coming off the lake.

      That was cold.