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Fast Facts:

  • A bitterly cold air mass moved into the region on Christmas and persisted into the new year, with cold at times reaching dangerous levels.

  • Chicago remained below 20° during the entire calendar days from December 26 through January 6.  The 12 consecutive days being below 20° tied a record of such a stretch for the city (only seen twice before in the winters of 1936 and 1895).  Also a very close stretch was 13 days on Jan 19-31, 1963 but one day had a high of 20°.

  • The coldest part of the air mass that required Wind Chill Warnings was from Dec 31-Jan 2, and included the coldest New Year's Day high temperature on record in Chicago and Rockford and wind chills of -25° to -40°.

  • The high on January 1 was the coldest calendar day high across the area since January 6, 2014.

  • The week from Christmas to New Year's Eve was the second coldest Dec 25-31 on record for Chicago and the coldest for Rockford.

  • Below 0° lows were frequent. The annual normal number of days below 0° for Chicago is 7 and for Rockford is 12, and these were basically reached along during this stretch.

Cold in Perspective

Cold Air Masses
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Additional recaps can be found on the NWS Chicago Past Events Page
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