Home Local Extreme cold, snow and a Chicago Bears game: What to know about the weather this week

Extreme cold, snow and a Chicago Bears game: What to know about the weather this week

by staff

Get ready, Chicago.

Snow is expected to move in on Thursday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, with conditions worsening late Thursday into Friday. By Christmas Eve and Day, air temperatures are expected to be well below average with wind chills between -20 and -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the record for cold temperatures in Chicago took place Jan. 20, 1985, many of the city’s lowest recorded temperatures came from arctic snaps in 1872 and 1899.

The 1980s and 1990s saw frigid temperatures among the city’s coldest recorded, however only three days at or colder than 16 below — Jan. 6, 2014 and in two in January 2019 — took place after the year 2000.

Read the full breakdown here.


Chicago’s 10 largest blizzards come with deep drifts of uniquely Chicago stories. A mayor voted out for mishandling stranded vehicles. A populace demanding a subway to compensate for stuck trains. Prisoners making a break from county jail. Runaway steers that escaped a crashed truck.

Read all about Chicago’s 10 latest snowfalls since 1886 here.


A Bears fan enjoys a game at Soldier Field on Dec. 18, 2022.

The Chicago Bears are 6-4 during their 10 coldest games at Soldier Field since they began playing their home games there in 1971 — including 3 wins and 2 losses against the Packers.

The Packers played in the NFL’s coldest game, referred to as “The Ice Bowl”: 13 degrees below zero on Dec. 31, 1967.

Will Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills break any records?

Read about the Bears’ cold-weather history at Soldier Field here.


Chicago Theatre and Christmas lights galore at State Street on Dec. 8, 2022.

Remember 2021? It was 55 degrees on Christmas that year — but Chicago has experienced warmer temps on the holiday.

O’Hare International Airport, the city’s official recording site, reported a high of 57 degrees on Dec. 25, 2019, making it the second warmest Christmas in the area. Yet neither were as balmy as the high of 64 degrees on Dec. 25, 1982 — the warmest Christmas recorded here since 1871.

The following year, however, Chicago experienced the low temperature of minus 17 degrees — the city’s coldest Christmas.


With temperatures in the single digits train crews ignite burners along the switches for tracks used by Amtrak trains near Western and Grand Avenues on the morning of Nov. 12, 2019.

You were thinking it too, so we’re here to help.

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