Thanksgiving Day weather in Chicago

by: Tom Skilling, WGN-TV Weather Team



Thanksgiving Day weather was all over the map

We have Chicago weather records for 150 Thanksgivings dating back to 1872. Veteran National Weather Service Chicago weather observer Frank Wachowski has provided us with a breakout of Thanksgiving weather year after year — and here are some key points about our city’s Thanksgiving weather I gleaned from Frank’s data:

Last Thanksgiving in Chicago (2021):

  • Last year the high/low temperature was: 48°/32°
  • A trail of rain fell
  • The sky was completely overcast
  • A peak NW wind gust of 23 miles per hour.

Chicago Thanksgiving in the books since 1872

  • 30 of the last 150 have produced a maximum temperature of 50 degrees or more (that 20% of them – and here will be the temperatures this Thursday).
  • It has rained (little or more) on 87 of the last 150 Thanksgivings—that’s 58% of them.
  • A touch more snow fell on 40 of the 150 Thanksgivings – 27% of them.
  • The last measurable snow on a Thanksgiving Day (0.1″) was 15 years ago in 2007.
  • It’s been quite a while – 41 years – since a Thanksgiving festival here has produced more than an inch of snow: 3″ in 1980.
  • Freezing Thanksgivings in Chicago are relatively rare – the last was 8 years ago in 2014 with a high of 27 degrees.
  • Only 24 out of 150 Thanksgivings saw high temperatures at or below freezing (16% of them).
  • Only 10 out of 150 Thanksgivings in Chicago had a high temperature of 60 degrees or more (only 7% of them) – the last: 60 degrees in 2015.


More cloudy than not – MILD and a bit windy – Only a chance of splashes or scattered short light showers in the afternoon/evening – but area coverage will be limited and many hours will be rain-free. Chicago’s predicted high of 53 degrees is 9 degrees ABOVE NORMAL. Thanksgiving Day weather in Chicago

Grace Reader

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