Chicago Weather

Chicago Weather

Chicago has a reputation for changeable weather that can even become brutal at certain times of the year. Visitors to the city should be aware of the many faces of Chicago weather so they can have the appropriate clothing on hand when needed. Your careful preparation will make your visit more comfortable and enjoyable.

Chicago Springs
Spring in Chicago can bring any number of weather changes to the city. It's best to be prepared for any eventuality by packing clothing that can be layered as needed. Temperatures at night can dip to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Some spring days can be in the 60s, so be prepared for both extremes. Generally, temperatures are in the 30s or 40s from February onward, with gradual warming until it is in the 50s during the month of April. May and early June can still be rainy and chilly. A jacket and raingear will be needed.

Summer in Chicago
Summer in Chicago can be glorious, with temperatures in the 80s, and rarely into the 90s. However, cool days can occur when skies are overcast and winds come off Lake Michigan. Keep a sweater on hand for sudden temperature drops and cooler night temperatures. Summer storms are common in Chicago, with rain, lightning and thunder. Carry an umbrella to avoid getting soaked unexpectedly.

Autumn in Chicago
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year in Chicago, when the trees in the city itself and surrounding areas turn a variety of colors making it the perfect background for travel photos. Though September days can retain some of the heat of summer, but by mid-October, the weather turns. Bring a warm jacket for seeing the sights of the city, and an umbrella or raincoat to keep you dry, especially if you will be waiting outside for public transportation.

Chicago Winters
From late November, Chicago weather can become cold and inhospitable. Cold, damp rain and winds can chill people to the bone. A heavy, windproof jacket and hat are necessary to keep out the chill. Light snow can fall on the city from late November and into December, making travel throughout the city more difficult. January is the coldest month in this northern metropolis. Temperatures can fall below zero with the wind chill factors making it dangerous to go out without having gloves, hats and scarves to protect exposed skin. Though many people avoid visiting Chicago during these months, seeing the city during these periods is the only true way to understand the spirit and hardiness of this great American city.