This winter Chicago has had below-average temperatures overall but nothing really cold. It's like a study in moderation, only unusual when you see the numbers rather than when you experience it:
Just one day this season has produced a sub-minus-17 Celsius low temperature and only one day has failed to climb out of single digits. Since the start of the three month (December through February) meteorological winter period, 38 of the 59 days—64% of them—have generated below normal readings.
It's a fact that except for New Year's Day, not a single day has produced a high over 4°C. And, the month of January has hosted only three days with highs above freezing—a fraction of the 141-year average of 14 above-freezing days to date. That's the fewest above-freezing days to occur in a January here in the 34 years since 1977.
Temperatures Saturday may poke above freezing long enough to turn the snow which has covered the ground here for 19 consecutive days a bit slushy. But a thaw capable of melting snow currently on the ground isn't in sight as we approach February 2011's arrival Tuesday, nor is a thaw expected in the week which follows.
The official temperature right now is 1°C, the warmest we expect it to be for at least the next week.