Chicago is known as one of the coldest cities in the United States. Winters in Chicago can be bitterly cold and the city often sees temperatures going into the single digits in the winter months. Chicago has an average yearly temperature of 52.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which is slightly cooler than the average for large American cities. But when it comes to coldest cities in America, Chicago falls short of the top spot.
What makes Chicago’s winters so cold? Part of the reason is its location. Chicago is located between two large bodies of water: Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. The two lakes have a major impact on the city’s climate. Lake Michigan stores solar energy during the summer months and releases it during the winter months, keeping temperatures cooler than they would otherwise be.
Chicago is not the coldest city in the United States, however. That distinction belongs to International Falls, Minnesota. International Falls has an average yearly temperature of 41.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly lower than Chicago’s average. Other cold cities in the United States include Fairbanks, Alaska, and Marquette, Michigan.
So while Chicago may be cold during the winter months, it is not the coldest city in the United States. The city’s location and the presence of large bodies of water help keep its average temperatures slightly above the national average. If you’re looking for a colder climate, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Chicago’s Coldest Temperatures Compared to Other Major US Cities
Chicago is known for its cold winters, but is it the coldest city in the US? Here, we compare the coldest temperatures recorded in Chicago with those of other major US cities.
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Chicago is -27°F, which occurred on January 20, 1985. This makes Chicago’s coldest temperature the fourth coldest among major US cities, behind only Fairbanks, Alaska (which recorded -66°F in January of 1971), International Falls, Minnesota (-55°F in February of 1996), and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (-22°F in January of 1994).
However, Chicago’s coldest temperature is much warmer than those cities during the winter. Chicago’s average low temperature in December is around 20°F, while Fairbanks, International Falls, and Pittsburgh all have average low temperatures of -15°F or lower in December.
When looking at average temperatures, Chicago is the 8th coldest major US city. The coldest average temperature is recorded in Fairbanks, Alaska at -4°F, followed by International Falls, Minnesota at 11°F, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 19°F.
The average temperature in Chicago is 42°F, which is much warmer than the other major US cities. This makes Chicago more livable during the winter than many other cities in the US.
Below is a chart comparing the coldest temperature ever recorded in Chicago and other major US cities.
|Coldest Temperature (F)
|International Falls, Minnesota
In conclusion, while Chicago is known for its cold winters, it is not the coldest major US city. Fairbanks, Alaska, International Falls, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania all have colder temperatures than Chicago. However, Chicago’s coldest temperature is much milder than these cities, making it a more livable city for those who don’t want to endure the cold.
The Pros and Cons of Living in Cold Cities Like Chicago
Winter in a cold city like Chicago can be hard, but it can also have a few benefits. From avoiding the summer heat to enjoying the scenery, there are some advantages to living in a cold city. But there are also drawbacks, too, including the cost of living and safety. So what are the pros and cons of living in a cold city like Chicago?
The main benefit of living in a cold city is the cooler temperatures—especially in the summer. With temperatures in the 80s, Chicagoans have a reprieve from the sweltering heat of other cities. Chicago’s cold winters can also be a pleasant surprise to those who aren’t used to the snow. The white of winter can be beautiful and create a picturesque landscape.
But living in a cold city isn’t always easy. Chicago is an expensive city to live in, and the colder climate can add to the cost. To stay warm, you may need to invest in extra insulation, as well as space heaters, fireplaces, and other heating equipment. This can add up to a hefty bill.
Safety is another concern for people living in a cold city. Cold weather can lead to shoveling accidents and slip-and-falls, while icy conditions can make driving more dangerous. The cold can also increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. And it’s more difficult to stay safe during the winter months when darkness comes earlier and there are fewer hours of daylight.
Is Chicago the coldest city? While it can get cold in Chicago, the city doesn’t rank as one of the coldest in the United States. The coldest cities in the country are typically located in the northern states, such as Alaska, Minnesota, and North Dakota. In comparison to these cities, Chicago’s winter temperatures are relatively mild.
- Cooler temperatures in the summer
- Beautiful winter scenery
- Expensive cost of living
- Safety concerns in the winter
Living in a cold city like Chicago has both pros and cons. From cooler temperatures in the summer to safety concerns in the winter, there are a few things to consider before making the move. And while Chicago may not be the coldest city in the nation, it can still get chilly in the winter months.
The average lowest temperature in Chicago is around -6°C.
The average coldest day of the year in Chicago is in January with temperatures around -14°C.
The average highest temperature in Chicago is around 32°C.
The average hottest day of the year in Chicago is in July with temperatures around 33°C.
The snow season typically starts in Chicago in late November.
The snow season typically ends in Chicago in late April.
Yes, the climate in Chicago changes dramatically from summer to winter.
No, Chicago is not the coldest city, but it does experience very cold temperatures in the winter.
Chicago’s climate is generally colder than many other cities in the United States, particularly in the winter.
The wind chill factor in Chicago can be extreme, especially in the winter, and can make the temperatures feel much colder than they actually are.