The record highest low temperature in Chicago

Sun and alarm clock

Waking up to a hot humid summer morning. Walking to work in the dense humidity. The weatherman often reports the record high for the day. But what about the record highest low? I’d like to know what was Chicago’s hottest morning.

Does anyone have the answer to: What’s the all-time record highest temperature for the low in Chicago? I posted it to Yahoo answers, Quora, Google Plus, I also asked, Tom Skilling, and twitter.

Several people have responded with 105 and -27. But that’s the highest “high temperature” and the lowest “low temperature. I’m asking for what is the highest “low temperature” of one day.

Detailed explanation of the question:

Take a look at the low temperature for one day. Let’s take yesterday as an example. Yesterday’s high was 89, the low was 68 for Chicago. Every calendar day has one high temperature and one low temperature for a city. The day before yesterday the high was 87 and the low was 62 for Chicago.

So let’s say you take an entire year, you would have a list of 365 high temperatures, and 365 low temperatures. There’s one high and one low for every day.

If you take 10 years you would have 3,650 high temperatures and 3,650 low temperatures.

What I’m looking for is… take the last 100 years of Chicago weather history. You would have 36,500 low temperatures reported. One for each of the 36,500 days in those 100 years. Of those 36,500 low temperatures, which one of those numbers is the highest number?


My question was printed in the Chicago Tribune’s back page of the Arts & Entertainment section onJuly 17, 2013!

Tom Skilling of WGN gave a great answer.


The question and answer also appeared on Tom Skilling’s Ask Tom Why blog:

Dear Tom,

What is Chicago’s all-time highest minimum temperature?


Matt Maldre,


Dear Matt,

Overnight lows in the 80s are extremely rare in Chicago having occurred at the official station on only 31 days since records began back in 1871. Last summer the city logged two occurrences, lows of 82 on July 6 and 81 on July 23. Chicago’s all-time highest minimum temperature dates back nearly a century to July 29, 1916 when the mercury bottomed out at a very muggy 85 degrees during a five-day heat wave that featured minimum temperatures of at least 80 degrees from July 26-30. That summer also delivered another three-day run of 80-degree plus nights from August 19-21, giving the Summer of 1916 a remarkable claim to more than a quarter of the city’s warmest nights.

They reworded my question so it made more sense:

Original question: What’s the all-time record highest temperature for the low in Chicago?

Updated question: What is Chicago’s all-time highest minimum temperature?

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Janine Zabriskie
11 years ago

Wouldn’t the last 100 years of weather history actually have 36,525 lows reported? And I remember that summer of ’95. It was a beast.

Kristina Maldre Jarosik

Mom saved the actual newspaper! She showed me yesterday. It’s upstairs near the computer. 🙂

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