Climate and Average Weather Year Round at Chicago / Meigs Illinois, United States
At Chicago / Meigs, the summers are warm, humid, and wet; the winters are freezing and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 22°F to 82°F and is rarely below 6°F or above 91°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Chicago / Meigs for warm-weather activities is from mid June to late September.
Climate at Chicago / Meigs
Average Temperature at Chicago / Meigs
The warm season lasts for 3.5 months, from June 5 to September 21, with an average daily high temperature above 72°F. The hottest day of the year is July 19, with an average high of 82°F and low of 71°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.3 months, from December 2 to March 10, with an average daily high temperature below 43°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 22°F and high of 33°F.
Average High and Low Temperature at Chicago / Meigs
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature at Chicago / Meigs
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
At Chicago / Meigs, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year at Chicago / Meigs begins around June 11 and lasts for 4.6 months, ending around October 30. On August 27, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 68% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 32% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 30 and lasts for 7.4 months, ending around June 11. On December 29, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 60% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 40% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories at Chicago / Meigs
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days at Chicago / Meigs varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 7.1 months, from March 28 to October 31, with a greater than 26% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 37% on June 8.
The drier season lasts 4.9 months, from October 31 to March 28. The smallest chance of a wet day is 14% on January 30.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 37% on June 8.
Daily Chance of Precipitation at Chicago / Meigs
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Chicago / Meigs experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year at Chicago / Meigs. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 1, with an average total accumulation of 3.7 inches.
The least rain falls around January 27, with an average total accumulation of 0.9 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall at Chicago / Meigs
We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Chicago / Meigs experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 3.4 months, from December 5 to March 16, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around February 1, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.3 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 8.6 months, from March 16 to December 5. The least snow falls around July 24, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall at Chicago / Meigs
The length of the day at Chicago / Meigs varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2021, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 8 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 15 hours, 14 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight at Chicago / Meigs
The earliest sunrise is at 5:14 AM on June 14, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 15 minutes later at 7:29 AM on November 6. The earliest sunset is at 4:19 PM on December 8, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 10 minutes later at 8:29 PM on June 27.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Chicago / Meigs during 2021, starting in the spring on March 14, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 7.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time at Chicago / Meigs
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2021. 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.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases at Chicago / Meigs
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.
Chicago / Meigs experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from June 5 to September 23, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 13% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 27, with muggy conditions 54% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is December 8, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels at Chicago / Meigs
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
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 at Chicago / Meigs experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.0 months, from October 1 to May 2, with average wind speeds of more than 11.7 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 4, with an average hourly wind speed of 14.7 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.0 months, from May 2 to October 1. The calmest day of the year is August 3, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.6 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed at Chicago / Meigs
The predominant average hourly wind direction at Chicago / Meigs varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the north for 2.1 months, from March 6 to May 10, with a peak percentage of 30% on April 3. The wind is most often from the south for 6.3 months, from May 10 to November 20, with a peak percentage of 36% on September 7. The wind is most often from the west for 3.5 months, from November 20 to March 6, with a peak percentage of 41% on January 1.
Wind Direction at Chicago / Meigs
Chicago / Meigs 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 water temperature experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 2.7 months, from July 4 to September 25, with an average temperature above 65°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 10, with an average temperature of 72°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 4.9 months, from December 12 to May 10, with an average temperature below 43°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is March 1, with an average temperature of 35°F.
Average Water Temperature at Chicago / Meigs
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is at Chicago / Meigs throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Chicago / Meigs for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid June to late September, with a peak score in the last week of August.
Tourism Score at Chicago / Meigs
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Chicago / Meigs for hot-weather activities is from early July to late August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
Beach/Pool Score at Chicago / Meigs
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
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 at Chicago / Meigs typically lasts for 7.6 months (232 days), from around March 30 to around November 18, rarely starting before March 13 or after April 16, and rarely ending before October 31 or after December 5.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season at Chicago / Meigs
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
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.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms at Chicago / Meigs should appear around April 20, only rarely appearing before April 5 or after May 6.
Growing Degree Days at Chicago / Meigs
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 experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from May 6 to August 21, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 1, with an average of 7.0 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from November 2 to February 12, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.7 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 22, with an average of 1.6 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy at Chicago / Meigs
This report illustrates the typical weather at Chicago / Meigs, 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
Chicago / Meigs has a weather station that reported reliably enough during the analysis period that we have included it in our network. When available, historical temperature and dew point measurements are taken directly from this weather station. These records are obtained from NOAA's Integrated Surface Hourly data set, falling back on ICAO METAR records as required.
In the case of missing or erroneous measurements from this station, we fall back on records from nearby stations, adjusted according to typical seasonal and diurnal intra-station differences. For a given day of the year and hour of the day, the fallback station is selected to minimize the prediction error over the years for which there are measurements for both stations.
The stations on which we may fall back include but are not limited to Chicago Midway International Airport, Naval Air Station Glenview (historical), Lansing Municipal Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago Executive Airport, Lewis University Airport, Waukegan Regional Airport, and DuPage County Airport.
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 © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
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.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.