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Chicago Weather vs. New York: A Cold Comparison



Chicago, also known as the Windy City, is famous for its iconic skyline, vibrant culture, and, of course, its distinct four seasons. But when it comes to weather, Chicagoans experience a wide array of conditions throughout the year, from sweltering summers to bone-chilling winters. After reading this you’ll know how it is like to live in a diverse Chicago weather.

The Coldest Month in Chicago

Chicago’s winters can be intimidating, and if you’re wondering when it’s at its chilliest, it’s the month of January. With average lows hovering around 16°F (-9°C), January sends a bone-chilling reminder of winter’s grip.

Snowfall is frequent, creating the charming scenes of snow-covered streets and parks.

Is Chicago a Cold Place to Live?

Chicago’s reputation as a cold place to live is well-founded, especially during the winter months. The combination of low temperatures and brisk winds can make it feel even colder than the thermometer suggests. However, Chicagoans are a resilient bunch who embrace the winter with a variety of cold-weather activities, from ice skating in Millennium Park to savoring a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Does Chicago Get Snow?

Absolutely. Snow is a hallmark of Chicago winters. On average, the city receives about 36 inches (91 cm) of snow per year, with the bulk of it falling between December and February. Snowstorms can sometimes disrupt daily life but also provide opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts to hit the slopes at nearby ski resorts.

The Hottest Month in Chicago

While winters can be harsh, summers in Chicago are a different story. July takes the crown as the hottest month, with average highs reaching around 84°F (29°C). During this time, Chicagoans flock to Lake Michigan’s beaches, enjoy outdoor festivals, and relish the city’s warm embrace.

How Bad Is Chicago weather in Winter?

Chicago winters are not for the faint of heart. Sub-zero temperatures, biting winds, and icy conditions can make daily life challenging. However, the city is well-prepared, with a fleet of snowplows and a community that knows how to navigate the winter landscape. Layered clothing and a good winter coat are essential for surviving the season.

Is Chicago weather Colder Than New York?

Comparing Chicago’s weather to New York’s, it’s clear that both cities experience chilly winters, but Chicago tends to be colder overall. The Windy City’s proximity to the Great Lakes can lead to more extreme temperature fluctuations and lake-effect snow, making winters in Chicago colder and snowier on average.


Chicago’s weather is a tale of two extremes – frigid winters and warm, sunny summers. While the winters can be challenging, they are part of the city’s identity, and Chicagoans find ways to embrace the season. If you’re considering living in Chicago, be prepared for a climate that offers a bit of everything, from snow-covered streets to sun-drenched beaches. Ultimately, the city’s vibrant culture and rich experiences make it a place where the weather, no matter how extreme, is just part of the Windy City’s charm.

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