Winter 2013-14 ranks as Chicago’s coldest in 30 years; it’s the 3rd snowiest and 8th coldest on record

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.

11 thoughts on “Winter 2013-14 ranks as Chicago’s coldest in 30 years; it’s the 3rd snowiest and 8th coldest on record

  1. The winter is bad. But yet there are still a segment of the population who sneer at us “pansies” who didn’t endure the winters of 1977-79, as if those winters somehow make this one look like nothing. Could someone at Chicago Weather Center please break down a real comparison of those winters with this one, just using data and not personal anecdotes? Thanks.

    • JB I’m 55 and I do remember 78-79 winter we had a lot of snow and quite a few large
      storm totals. I had purchased in the fall a 75 TransAm 455 4 speed and let me tell you getting around that winter was not fun, My friend Karl had a 76 or 77 K5 Blazer and all of us had a blast 4 wheelin’ I know snow was so high people were putting red flags and things on long rods by the fire hydrants so as to mark them. We had 80+ inches that winter but I don’t remember it being as cold as this season. Needless to say I garaged my TA for winters to follow Thanks

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