Chicago, Illinois Weather and Climate

Geographical location

Chicago is in the northeast of the US state of Illinois. Around 2.7 million people live within the city limits on an area of ​​around 606 square kilometers. Chicago is also a metropolitan area that has a total area of ​​over 28,000 square kilometers and is home to almost 10 million.

This results in a population density of 4,615 inhabitants per square kilometer and thus roughly corresponds to the level of Munich (4,600 inhabitants per km²), the statistically most densely populated city in Germany.

Chicago is located on the south bank of Lake Michigan and is the third largest city in the United States of America. North of the metropolis is Milwaukee. Chicago is divided into nine community areas, which are divided into a total of 77 districts. Chicago is an important economic center and an important traffic junction in the USA. The logistics are handled primarily by freight transport by rail, air and also by sea.

From Frankfurt, Chicago can be reached in around 8 hours and 15 minutes.

Climate in Chicago

Chicago has a continental climate, which is characterized by hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures averaged -6.2 ° C in January, with extreme cold spells with values ​​of -10 to -18 degrees not unusual. In return, the daytime temperatures from June to August are almost always above 27 degrees and easily exceed 30 degrees on hot days.

Statistically, Chicago has a maximum of 10 rainy days a month, the rainiest month is usually April. In the warm months of June and July and August there is fantastic summer weather with up to 10.5 hours of sunshine a day. The highest temperature in Chicago was recorded in 1934 at 41 ° C.

During the North American cold spell in 1985, a minus record of -33 degrees Celsius was recorded. This highlights the extremes that the continental climate in Chicago, Illinois can reach. The city on Lake Michigan has around 30 beaches on the shores of the lake, which are popular contact points for locals and tourists from all over the world, especially in summer.

When to go to Chicago

The humidity in Chicago is quite high all year round, which usually makes the cold winter and spring months seem a little harder. Basically, a cosmopolitan city like Chicago can of course be visited all year round, but the temperatures from November to April can be a real challenge for vacationers.

From May it will be noticeably warmer, the summer months are hot and in autumn Chicago will still be sunny and mild. Accordingly, we recommend mid-May to late September as the best time to visit Chicago, Illinois. In warmer years, October can also be a wonderful time to travel to the city on Lake Michigan.

You have probably heard of the nickname “Windy City” in Chicago. Many travel guides associate this term with the strong wind that often whistles through the skyscrapers. Historians, however, attribute the term “Windy City” to the windy activities of certain smuggling gangs that were once very common in Chicago. Other sources said Cincinnati residents gave Chicago this somewhat derogatory nickname.

Regardless of whether it is a small rivalry between Ohio and Illinois or “Windy City” has a completely different origin: the fact is that, according to official weather records and measured values, Chicago is not significantly windier than other coastal cities in the USA.

Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daytime temperature -2 ° C 1 ° C 8 ° C 15 ° C 21 ° C 26 ° C 29 ° C 28 ° C 24 ° C 17 ° C 9 ° C 1 ° C
Night temperature -11 ° C -8 ° C -2 ° C 4 ° C 9 ° C 14 ° C 17 ° C 16 ° C 12 ° C 6 ° C -0 ° C -7 ° C
Precipitation in mm 39 35 68 93 84 96 93 107 97 61 74 63
Rainy days 7 6 9 10 9 8 8 8 8 7 8 8
Hours of sunshine 4 5 6 7 9 10 10 9 8 6 4 3
Sunrise 7:15 6:45 7:05 6:10 5:30 5:15 5:25 5:55 6:30 7:05 6:40 7:10
Sunset 16:45 17:20 18:55 7:30 p.m. 20:05 20:25 20:25 19:55 19:00 18:10 16:30 16:20

Temperatures

The average annual temperature is 9.5 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (22.9 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of -6.2 ° C.

Precipitation

The annual precipitation is 909 mm on 96 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. In the months of January, February, March, April, November and December snowfall is possible.

Sunshine

As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 10.4 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines 6.9 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.

Cities nearby

The following major towns are nearby and have similar climates: Naperville, Naperville, Aurora and Joliet.

Highlights and attractions

Basically, Chicago itself already offers a number of great sights, especially in the cultural area, the megacity is a pioneer. The city is known for its distinct theatrical culture, the Goodman Theater is not only the focus of the region during the Chicago Theater Week. Important museums such as the Astronomy Museum and the Adler Planetarium as well as the Museum of Science and Industry offer interesting impressions even in bad weather.

Architecturally, there are many buildings from the Bauhaus style to be admired, not least the Lake Point Tower and the Willis Tower as the tallest building in Chicago are fascinating. The Skydeck Chicago viewing platform (in the Willis Tower) offers a fascinating panoramic view of the city, Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. The view from the ferris wheel on the popular Navy Pier is also impressive.

Millennium Park with the famous Cloud Gate is another attraction of the city. The highly polished sculpture is also called “The Big Bean” because of its shape and is probably the most popular photo motif in all of Chicago. In the vicinity of Lake Michigan users, the impressive Buckingham Fountain is one of the city’s landmarks with great water shows and light effects.

Chicago weather in March, April and May

Average daily temperatures between 8 ° C and 21 ° C can be expected over the next three months. In Chicago it gets warmest in May, but March is noticeably cooler.

You can expect around 9 days of rainfall in March, around 10 days in April and around 9 days in May.

In the period from March to May , the sun shines an average of 6 to 9 hours a day. The sunniest weather in Chicago is in May, but with less sun you will have to get by in March.

Chicago, Illinois Weather and Climate
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