In Erik Larson’s book “Devil in the White City” there are frequent weather references, among them one about unusually warm weather on December 15, 1890. Are these references historically correct?
With the help of Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski we cross-checked several of the weather references in the book with the original Chicago weather records and they are indeed correct. The day in question, December 15, 1890, the high climbed to a balmy 48 degrees melting the last traces of what remained of the city’s seven inch snowpack that fell earlier in the month. We previously answered a similar question about Larson’s reference to a funnel cloud that blew through the Midway at Columbian Exposition’s on July 9, 1893 and found that reference to be meteorologically correct as well.