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Spring Weather in Chicago Illinois, United States

Daily high temperatures increase by 31°F, from 41°F to 72°F, rarely falling below 28°F or exceeding 83°F.

Daily low temperatures increase by 30°F, from 29°F to 59°F, rarely falling below 17°F or exceeding 68°F.

For reference, on July 18, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Chicago typically range from 71°F to 83°F, while on January 29, the coldest day of the year, they range from 22°F to 33°F.

Average High and Low Temperature in the Spring in Chicago

Average High and Low Temperature in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0°F0°F10°F10°F20°F20°F30°F30°F40°F40°F50°F50°F60°F60°F70°F70°F80°F80°F90°F90°FWinterSummerMar 141°FMar 141°F29°F29°FMay 3172°FMay 3172°F59°F59°FApr 151°FApr 151°F39°F39°FMay 162°FMay 162°F49°F49°FNowNow
The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average spring temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature in the Spring in Chicago

Average Hourly Temperature in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay12 AM12 AM2 AM2 AM4 AM4 AM6 AM6 AM8 AM8 AM10 AM10 AM12 PM12 PM2 PM2 PM4 PM4 PM6 PM6 PM8 PM8 PM10 PM10 PM12 AM12 AMWinterSummerNowNowfreezingvery coldcoldcoolcomfortablewarm
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Dalian, China (6,569 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Chicago (view comparison).

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The spring in Chicago experiences gradually decreasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy decreasing from 55% to 48%.

The clearest day of the spring is May 30, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 52% of the time.

For reference, on December 28, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 59%, while on August 26, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 68%.

Cloud Cover Categories in the Spring in Chicago

Cloud Cover Categories in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%WinterSummerMar 145%Mar 145%May 3152%May 3152%Apr 148%Apr 148%May 148%May 148%NowNowclearmostly clearpartly cloudyovercastmostly cloudy
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Chicago, the chance of a wet day over the course of the spring is very rapidly increasing, starting the season at 19% and ending it at 36%.

For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 37% on May 26, and its lowest chance is 15% on January 30.

Over the course of the spring in Chicago, the chance of a day with only rain increases from 14% to 36%, the chance of a day with mixed snow and rain decreases from 2% to 0%, and the chance of a day with only snow decreases from 3% to 0%.

Probability of Precipitation in the Spring in Chicago

Probability of Precipitation in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0%0%5%5%10%10%15%15%20%20%25%25%30%30%35%35%40%40%WinterSummerMay 2637%May 2637%Mar 119%Mar 119%Apr 128%Apr 128%May 131%May 131%NowNowsnowrainmixed
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the season and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.

The average sliding 31-day rainfall during the spring in Chicago is very rapidly increasing, starting the season at 1.5 inches, when it rarely exceeds 2.8 inches or falls below 0.4 inches, and ending the season at 3.7 inches, when it rarely exceeds 5.9 inches or falls below 1.5 inches.

The highest average 31-day accumulation is 3.7 inches on May 31.

Average Monthly Rainfall in the Spring in Chicago

Average Monthly Rainfall in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0 in0 in1 in1 in2 in2 in3 in3 in4 in4 in5 in5 in6 in6 inWinterSummerMay 303.7 inMay 303.7 inMar 11.5 inMar 11.5 inApr 12.5 inApr 12.5 inMay 13.2 inMay 13.2 inNowNow
The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average snowfall.

Snowfall

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.

The average sliding 31-day snowfall during the spring in Chicago is decreasing, starting the season at 2.3 inches, when it rarely exceeds 6.1 inches or falls below -0.0 inches, and ending the season at 0.0 inches, when it rarely exceeds 0.0 inches or falls below -0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Snowfall in the Spring in Chicago

Average Monthly Snowfall in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0 in0 in1 in1 in2 in2 in3 in3 in4 in4 in5 in5 in6 in6 in7 in7 in8 in8 inWinterSummerMar 12.3 inMar 12.3 inMay 310.0 inMay 310.0 inApr 10.4 inApr 10.4 inMay 10.0 inMay 10.0 inNowNow
The average snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Over the course of the spring in Chicago, the length of the day is very rapidly increasing. From the start to the end of the season, the length of the day increases by 3 hours, 44 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 2 minutes, 27 seconds, and weekly increase of 17 minutes, 12 seconds.

The shortest day of the spring is March 1, with 11 hours, 17 minutes of daylight and the longest day is May 31, with 15 hours, 1 minute of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in the Spring in Chicago

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hrWinterSummerMar 1912 hr, 8 minMar 1912 hr, 8 minnightnightdaydayMay 3115 hr, 1 minMay 3115 hr, 1 minMay 114 hr, 4 minMay 114 hr, 4 minNowNow
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The latest sunrise of the spring in Chicago is 7:09 AM on March 10 and the earliest sunrise is 1 hour, 52 minutes earlier at 5:18 AM on May 31.

The earliest sunset is 5:41 PM on March 1 and the latest sunset is 2 hours, 37 minutes later at 8:18 PM on May 31.

Daylight saving time (DST) ends at 3:00 AM on March 10, 2024, shifting sunrise and sunset to be an hour earlier.

For reference, on June 20, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 5:15 AM and sets 15 hours, 14 minutes later, at 8:29 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 7:15 AM and sets 9 hours, 8 minutes later, at 4:22 PM.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in the Spring in Chicago

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMWinterSummer5:18 AM5:18 AMMay 318:18 PMMay 318:18 PM6:24 AM6:24 AMMar 15:41 PMMar 15:41 PM6:32 AM6:32 AMApr 17:16 PMApr 17:16 PM5:46 AM5:46 AMMay 17:49 PMMay 17:49 PMMar 10DSTMar 10DSTSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunsetNowNow
The solar day in the spring. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.

Solar Elevation and Azimuth in the Spring in Chicago

Solar Elevation and Azimuth in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay12 AM12 AM2 AM2 AM4 AM4 AM6 AM6 AM8 AM8 AM10 AM10 AM12 PM12 PM2 PM2 PM4 PM4 PM6 PM6 PM8 PM8 PM10 PM10 PM12 AM12 AMWinterSummer0010203030405060010102030405060NowNow
northeastsouthwest
Solar elevation and azimuth in the the spring of 2024. The black lines are lines of constant solar elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon, in degrees). The background color fills indicate the azimuth (the compass bearing) of the sun. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries of the cardinal compass points indicate the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for the spring of 2024. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases. The label associated with each bar indicates the date and time that the phase is obtained, and the companion time labels indicate the rise and set times of the Moon for the nearest time interval in which the moon is above the horizon.

Moon Rise, Set & Phases in the Spring in Chicago

Moon Rise, Set & Phases in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay12 AM12 AM4 AM4 AM8 AM8 AM12 PM12 PM4 PM4 PM8 PM8 PM12 AM12 AMWinterSummerFeb 95:00 PMFeb 95:00 PMFeb 246:31 AMFeb 246:31 AMMar 104:01 AMMar 104:01 AMMar 252:01 AMMar 252:01 AMApr 81:22 PMApr 81:22 PMApr 236:50 PMApr 236:50 PMMay 710:23 PMMay 710:23 PMMay 238:54 AMMay 238:54 AMJun 67:38 AMJun 67:38 AMJun 218:09 PMJun 218:09 PM7:07 AM7:07 AM5:00 PM5:00 PM4:48 PM4:48 PM6:55 AM6:55 AM7:29 AM7:29 AM7:32 PM7:32 PM6:44 PM6:44 PM6:57 AM6:57 AM6:15 AM6:15 AM7:40 PM7:40 PM7:42 PM7:42 PM6:03 AM6:03 AM7:51 PM7:51 PM7:44 PM7:44 PM5:02 AM5:02 AM4:52 AM4:52 AM9:14 PM9:14 PM8:50 PM8:50 PM5:19 AM5:19 AMNowNow
The time in which the moon is above the horizon (light blue area), with new moons (dark gray lines) and full moons (blue lines) indicated. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The chance that a given day will be muggy in Chicago is rapidly increasing during the spring, rising from 0% to 10% over the course of the season.

For reference, on July 26, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 50% of the time, while on January 1, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.

Humidity Comfort Levels in the Spring in Chicago

Humidity Comfort Levels in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%WinterSummerMar 10%Mar 10%May 3110%May 3110%Apr 10%Apr 10%May 10%May 10%muggymuggyhumidhumiddrydrycomfortablecomfortableoppressiveoppressive
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Chicago is rapidly decreasing during the spring, decreasing from 13.4 miles per hour to 10.1 miles per hour over the course of the season.

For reference, on January 4, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 14.4 miles per hour, while on August 2, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 8.5 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed in the Spring in Chicago

Average Wind Speed in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0 mph0 mph5 mph5 mph10 mph10 mph15 mph15 mph20 mph20 mphWinterSummerMar 113.4 mphMar 113.4 mphMay 3110.1 mphMay 3110.1 mphApr 112.9 mphApr 112.9 mphMay 111.6 mphMay 111.6 mphNowNow
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The wind direction in Chicago during the spring is predominantly out of the west from March 1 to March 5, the north from March 5 to April 26, and the south from April 26 to May 31.

Wind Direction in the Spring in Chicago

Wind Direction in the Spring in ChicagoWNSMarAprMay0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%WinterSummerNowNowwestsoutheastnorth
northeastsouthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Chicago is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.

The average surface water temperature in Chicago is very rapidly increasing during the spring, rising by 14°F, from 35°F to 49°F, over the course of the season.

Average Water Temperature in the Spring in Chicago

Average Water Temperature in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay30°F30°F35°F35°F40°F40°F45°F45°F50°F50°F55°F55°F60°F60°F65°F65°F70°F70°F75°F75°FWinterSummerMar 135°FMar 135°FMay 3149°FMay 3149°FApr 137°FApr 137°FMay 141°FMay 141°FNowNow
The daily average water temperature (purple line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Chicago typically lasts for 7.2 months (222 days), from around April 1 to around November 9, rarely starting before March 14 or after April 18, and rarely ending before October 22 or after November 29.

During the spring in Chicago, the chance that a given day is within the growing season is very rapidly increasing rising from 1% to 100% over the course of the season.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in the Spring in Chicago

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in the Spring in Chicagogrowing seasonMarAprMay0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%WinterSummerMar 11%Mar 11%100%May 31100%May 3150%Apr 150%Apr 1100%May 1100%May 1frigidfreezingvery coldcoldcoolcomfortablewarmhot
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

The average accumulated growing degree days in Chicago are increasing during the spring, increasing by 448°F, from 6°F to 454°F, over the course of the season.

Growing Degree Days in the Spring in Chicago

Growing Degree Days in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay100°F100°F200°F200°F300°F300°F400°F400°F500°F500°FWinterSummerMar 16°FMar 16°FMay 31454°FMay 31454°FApr 140°FApr 140°FMay 1153°FMay 1153°F
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the spring, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Chicago is very rapidly increasing during the spring, rising by 3.1 kWh, from 3.5 kWh to 6.5 kWh, over the course of the season.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in the Spring in Chicago

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in the Spring in ChicagoMarAprMay0 kWh0 kWh1 kWh1 kWh2 kWh2 kWh3 kWh3 kWh4 kWh4 kWh5 kWh5 kWh6 kWh6 kWh7 kWh7 kWh8 kWh8 kWh9 kWh9 kWhWinterSummerMar 13.5 kWhMar 13.5 kWhMay 316.5 kWhMay 316.5 kWhApr 14.7 kWhApr 14.7 kWhMay 15.8 kWhMay 15.8 kWhNowNow
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Chicago are 41.850 deg latitude, -87.650 deg longitude, and 584 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Chicago is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 69 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 591 feet. Within 10 miles is essentially flat (253 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (653 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Chicago is covered by artificial surfaces (100%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (66%) and water (34%), and within 50 miles by water (36%) and artificial surfaces (29%).

This report illustrates the typical weather in Chicago, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 4 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Chicago.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Chicago according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Chicago is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Chicago and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:

To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Chicago and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

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