ASK TOM: What was the latest Chicagoans had to wait for their first 70-degree day in spring?

Dear Tom,

What was the latest we ever had to wait for our first 70-degree day in spring?

-Linda Cordes, Oak Forest


Dear Linda,
Typically Chicagoans bask in the season’s first 70 by the end of March, but this year’s chill delayed it until April 6. The city’s latest first 70 was logged in 1874, arriving on May 7. Other late-arriving first 70s were on April 27, 1876 (70 degrees) and April 28, 1901 (73). It should be noted that in all of those years, Chicago’s official temperatures were taken close to the lake, where onshore breezes tended to keep spring readings chilly. Since the city’s official temperature readings were moved inland in July 1942, the latest date for the first 70 has been April 25, with a 71 in 1951 and a 70 in 1984. In contrast, the city also has logged some early 70s — the earliest on Feb. 11, 1999, with a high of 70.

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