Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois
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Weather Extremes
Nature Bulletin No. 45   December 15, 1945
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Clayton F. Smith, President
Roberts Mann, Superintendent of Conservation

Chicago lies in a temperate zone. We are fortunate. The lowest temperature recorded here since the establishment of the Weather Bureau in 1870 was -- 23 F on Dec. 24, 1872. The lowest records elsewhere in the United States are--66 F at Riverside Ranger Station, Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, on Feb. 9, 1933; and -- 78 F at Fort Yukon, Alaska, on Jan. 14, 1934. The lowest record anywhere on earth is 90 F at Verkhoyansk, Siberia, Feb. 5 and 7, 1892.

The greatest snowfall recorded in Chicago in one 24-hour period was 14.9 inches on Jan. 30, 1939; but 19.2 inches fell between 1:10 a.m. on March 24 and 8:33 p.m. on March 26, 1930.

Other heavy snowfall records include: 60 inches at Giant Forest, California, in 1 day; 42 inches at Angola, New York, in 2 days; 54 inches at The Dallas, Oregon, in 3 days; 96 inches at Vanceboro, Maine, in 4 days. The greatest seasonal snowfall was 884 inches, more than 73 feet, at Tarnarack, Calif., during the winter of 1906-07.

The highest temperature officially recorded in Chicago was 105 F on July 24, 1934. The highest for the United States was 134 F at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, Calif., on July 10, 1913. The highest anywhere on earth was 136 F. at Aziza, Libya, North Africa, on Sept. 13, 1922.

The greatest 24-hour rainfall recorded in Chicago was 6.19 inches on Aug. 2, 1885. The greatest in the U.S. was 23. 22 inches at New Smyrna, Florida, on Oct. 10-11, 1924. The world record is believed to be 46 inches on July 14-15, 1911, at Baguio, Luzon, P.I.

The average annual precipitation in Chicago, based on records for the past 100 years, is 32.87 inches. The average for the U. S. is approxirnately 29 inches. Louisiana is the wettest state with an annual average of 55.11 inches, and Nevada the driest with 8. 81 inches. However, the annual average at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, Calif., is only 1.35 inches. The highest local average annual rainfall in the U.S. is 150.73 inches at Wynoochee Oxbow, Washington. But at Cherrapunji, India, the annual average is 426 inches (35.5 feet). In the month of August 1841, at Cherrapunji, 241 inches of rain fell -- 150 inches of it in 5 consecutive days.

Instead of grumbling about the weather, get outdoors and enjoy it. Walk a lot. There are 170 miles of all-weather trails and paths in the forest preserves.

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