Chicago, Illinois 

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Climate in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, IL is generally considered to have a humid continental climate, which brings both cold winter temperatures and hot summer ones. In the winter, temperatures can drop below freezing and stay there for weeks at a time. During the summer months, temperatures in Chicago typically range from the mid 70s to low 80s with high humidity levels. The city receives an average of 37 inches of precipitation each year, most of which falls between April and September. Snowfall can also be common during the winter months in Chicago with an average total snowfall of 37 inches per year.

Chicago, Illinois gets 38 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.

Chicago averages 35 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.

On average, there are 189 sunny days per year in Chicago. The US average is 205 sunny days.

Chicago gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 125 days per year. Precipitation is rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to the ground. In order for precipitation to be counted you have to get at least .01 inches on the ground to measure.

Weather Highlights

Summer High: the July high is around 84 degrees
Winter Low: the January low is 19
Rain: averages 38 inches of rain a year
Snow: averages 35 inches of snow a year


The annual BestPlaces Comfort Index for Chicago is 7.0 (10=best), which means it is about average compared to other places in Illinois.

9 / 4.7

Summer   /   Winter
September, June and August are the most pleasant months in Chicago, while January and December are the least comfortable months.

Climate Averages
  Chicago, IllinoisUnited States
  38.2 in.38.1 in.
  35.1 in.27.8 in.
  124.8 days106.2 days
  189 days205 days
  587 ft.2443 ft.


Many people confuse weather and climate but they are different. Weather is the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere is over long periods of time.

Weather is how the atmosphere is behaving and its effects upon life and human activities. Weather can change from minute-to-minute. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure.

Climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a place. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. Climate is the average of weather over time.

July is the hottest month for Chicago with an average high temperature of 83.9°, which ranks it as cooler than most places in Illinois. In Chicago, there are 4 comfortable months with high temperatures in the range of 70-85°. The most pleasant months of the year for Chicago are June, September and August.

In Chicago, there are 13.6 days annually when the high temperature is over 90°, which is cooler than most places in Illinois.

January has the coldest nighttime temperatures for Chicago with an average of 19.2°. This is warmer than most places in Illinois.

In Chicago, there are 103.9 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most places in Illinois.

In Chicago, there are 4.0 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below zero°, which is warmer than most places in Illinois.

The humidity is usually comfortable in Chicago but some summer months can be sticky or muggy. July is the most humid month, though humidity is low for most of the year. The most humid months are July, August and June.

August is the wettest month in Chicago with 4.2 inches of rain, and the driest month is January with 2.0 inches. The wettest season is Autumn with 31% of yearly precipitation and 17% occurs in Spring, which is the driest season. The annual rainfall of 38.2 inches in Chicago means that it is drier than most places in Illinois.

May is the rainiest month in Chicago with 11.5 days of rain, and February is the driest month with only 8.4 rainy days. There are 124.8 rainy days annually in Chicago, which is one of the rainiest places in Illinois. The rainiest season is Summer when it rains 27% of the time and the driest is Spring with only a 24% chance of a rainy day.

An annual snowfall of 35.1 inches in Chicago means that it is one of the snowiest places in Illinois. January is the snowiest month in Chicago with 11.0 inches of snow, and 6 months of the year have significant snowfall.

  • Annual Rainfall (US Avg: 36.5")
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    Reviews for Chicago    270 Reviews
    My Favorite City in the Country - 8/14/2023
    Chicago is probably the best value in a major city that you can find and my personal favorite city. It will become increasingly important as climate change makes the... Read More

    Start Your Review of Chicago

    Crime ridden Medical center. - 2/16/2023
    I've live on north side and south side, UIC medical center. Don't move here go to the north side. No good amenities, if you get bored with one there is no other choices.... Read More

    Good and Bad - 11/15/2022
    A fun city to live in with great food! Housing isn't terrible compared to other big cities. The cyclists who think they own the streets and paths drive me crazy. People... Read More

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