Today in Chicago, United States
Clearing skies late. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.
Cloudy early with some clearing expected late. Low 46F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.
This weather data was last updated 2017-03-24 04:14:00.
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The windy city as it is known can have a few different weather conditions throughout the year which makes windy one adjective amongst many. Many of the local see it more as a city of extremes than a windy city. Yes the wind blows, but that is not the main factor to affect Chicago weather. If you want to understand why the Chicago weather is the way it is, then all you need to do is to look at the map and realize that Lake Michigan is right next to the city.
The fact that the lake is here has a lot more influence on the weather than the wind does. The humidity during the hot days of summer happens because of the lake. When wind blows in the middle of the winter, that wind can be cooler because of the lake. Chicago is more than just wind; it is a city with a complex weather system.
The Hot Summer Days
Chicago weather does have four seasons which can be observed. One of the two seasons to get the most complaints is the summer. You would think that the windy city wind would help cool down the people who live here. In reality all that the wind seems to do is move the hot air around. The nights can be a bit cooler, but the humid continental climate does not help. Humidity seems to be the norm in the summer when it feels high. The location of the city of Chicago in the United States Midwest is one of the reasons that the city of Chicago can have many powerful thunderstorms.
These thunderstorms will more than likely happen in the early evenings and at night. The summers in Chicago weather are the rainiest season in the year, and the hottest months are July and August.
One thing that every person who lives in the city will tell you about Chicago weather is the coolness of its winters. As stated earlier, Chicago is a city of extremes and the winter does get extreme in the city. In average, the city of Chicago will see a total of 38 inches of snow. The city does however produce different amounts every year. The most snow that Chicago weather has produced in the city for a single winter is close to 90 inches. The lowest amount of snow produced in a single winter was close to ten inches.
These are not the norm; they are exceptions to the rule. The one thing that you can count on when you live or visit Chicago in the winter on the other hand is the coldness of the winter. There are two things that make the weather of Chicago winters so cold: the lake effect, and winds that come from Canada.
The microclimate of Chicago weather happens because of one of the great lakes. The water in Lake Michigan is cooler and because of that the wind comes in a bit cooler than in other places. As much as people know the city of Chicago as the windy city, it is also true that other cities will experience faster winds than Chicago. The people that will experience the winds and how cool they can make a day are the people who are the closest to the lake. If you drive a few miles from the lake you will begin to notice that the winds and the cold temperatures start to change.
Some of the people to the south of the city can be several degrees higher in temperature while experiencing calmer winds. The wind directions in Chicago weather tend to change and that is what keeps the city cool.
How Low (High) Can Chicago Weather Go
While most people tell you that the Chicago weather is too high or too low, it is a good idea to put actual numbers to what they are saying. The highest temperature to be officially recorded for Chicago weather is 107 degrees F.
Unofficially there is a temperature that is said to have been 109 F, but because that is unofficial, it is not placed on the records. Add to those temperatures the humidity and the increased temperature because of it and you can get an idea of how bad the temperatures can get. The lower extreme and the coldest that the city has officially been is a chilling -27 F plus the wind factor. These extreme temperatures make Chicago weather the best when the spring and the fall arrive.