Chicago's Lack of Cold Breaks an All-Time Record

By , Senior Meteorologist
December 31, 2012; 3:55 AM
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Play video Weather for the Chicago area is detailed in the above AccuWeather.com video.

UPDATE Dec. 31, 2012:

Chicago broke the all-time record streak of days without a subfreezing high on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Sunday was the 309th straight day with a high at 32 degrees F or higher.

The streak will continue Monday, making it the 110th day in a row without a subfreezing high.

Finally, the streak is expected to come to an end on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. The forecast high is 20 degrees.


Snow and cold have been lacking in Chicago recently and one of the city's winterless weather streaks has now tied an all-time record.

With a high of 32 degrees at midnight CST, Saturday was the 308th straight day without a subfreezing high in Chicago.

That ties 1978 for the all-time longest such streak for Chicago since record-keeping began in 1871.

Despite more sunshine than clouds, the streak is expected to finally end on Sunday with a high of 26 degrees in the forecast.

Sunday's high would also mark Chicago's second latest first subfreezing high temperature reading in a winter season. January 1, 1924, holds the record for the all-time latest occurrence.

The number of days (not consecutively) with a high at or above freezing so far this year now stands at 352, the third highest total for any year in Chicago's history.

The year 1931 and its 355 days sits at the top of that list, followed by 2006 and its 353 days.

It is not just bitter cold that has been absent from Chicago this winter, but also substantial snow--allowing two other lengthy streaks to continue.

Snow-less scenes, like in this Photos.com picture, has been in abundance so far this winter.

While receiving 0.3 of an inch of snow on Friday and 0.4 of an inch Saturday, Chicago still has not seen an inch of snow fall in one calendar day since February 24 (making for a stretch of 309 days).

That streak is now the city's third longest on record. First place belongs the streak that ended in early January 1940 and its 319 days, followed by the 315 days from 1958.

Saturday also marked the 307th day without an inch of snow on the ground in Chicago, the city's second longest such stretch. At the top of that list is the 313 days that spanned 1939 into early January 1940.

The above two streaks will remain unbroken through at least the upcoming week with cold, but no substantial snow in the forecast.

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