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Chicago Weather Center

Ask Tom why: What was high temperature on Christmas in 1982?

November 26, 2011

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Dear Tom,

My parents talk about how warm it was on Christmas in 1982. What were the temperatures that day?

—Robert Skurski, Chicago

Dear Robert,

In a December dominated by a strong El Nino pattern, Christmas 1982 stands as Chicago's warmest, registering a high of 64 degrees. It was the city's third straight day of temperatures in the 60s and followed back-to-back highs of 62. People took advantage of the unique warmth by washing cars, playing golf and barbecuing and a few hearty sailors even ventured out into Lake Michigan. Children got an unexpected treat by getting to ride their new bikes and scooters. That Christmas is also the city's wettest, logging 0.47 inches of rain which fell during the early morning hours, the tail-end of a thundery Christmas Eve downpour that soaked the city with 1.71 inches of rain.