By Meteorologist Tom Skilling
It’s been three decades since Chicagoans have experienced a winter any colder than this one. Friday’s bitterly cold temps are but the latest to illustrate the point.
To date, the production of 0-degree or lower temperatures has proceeded at three times the typical pace over the city’s 143-year instrument record.
Since Dec. 1, the open of the three month “meteorological winter” season, the city’s temperature has averaged just 19-degrees—7.3-degrees off the long-term average. The reading ranks 8th-coldest of the143 winter seasons dating back to 1871 and places Winter 2013-14 among the coldest 5% on record here.
Friday’s bone-chilling open marks the city’s 22nd 0-degree or colder temp—more than past 5 full winters combined
Take all the official 0-degree or lower temperatures recorded here over the past 5 years, and you’ll still fall short of the 22 on the books through this morning. Typically, only 7 such readings have occurred by now.
Long stretch of sub-freezing temps moves into day #7—and not over yet
The latest run of cold temps has been formidable. By 10 am Friday, readings have failed to touch—let along surge past—32-degrees here in Chicago over 180 consecutive hours. And the sub-freezing stretch isn’t over! Temps here may remain below 32 well into next week.