ASK TOM WHY:

Dear Tom,

How long did temperatures in Chicago remain continuously above zero? Now that subzero temperatures have finally returned, did we set any duration record for their absence?

— Terry Hershey,
Chicago

 

Dear Terry,

Chicago’s temperature officially dropped to 1 degree below zero at 7 a.m. Tuesday at O’Hare International Airport.

It was the city’s first occurrence of zero degrees or lower since 9 degrees below zero

Feb. 10, 2011.

Temperatures have been continuously above zero for 711 days, and that is Chicago’s second-longest stretch of above-zero days since temperature records began Nov. 1, 1870.

As long as our latest string was — 1.95 years — it fell far short of the record. The all-time record stands at 1,053 days, from Jan. 27, 1930, through Dec. 14, 1932 — 2.88 years.

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