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Question
Hi Donald,

I live in Chicago, and often during the summer (even July-August) it'll be 80+ and humid during the day, but drop down to the low 60s and even high 50s at night. Why is this? I seem to remember as a kid (the mid 1980s and early 1990s) that it was hot and humid all day and night in Chicago, but in recent years it gets downright chilly past 11:00 pm. Can you shed any light on this?

Todd

Answer
Hi Todd

Chicago is greatly influenced by the temperature of Lake Michigan. Some summers are affected by the winter's impact on lake temperatures. Strong polar high pressures can bring abnormal temperatures to the Chicago area's water and thus influencing spring and summer's air temperatures.

https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/ecosystems/great-lakes.html

http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/statistic/statistic.html

https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/glakes_tmap.html

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/great-lakes-water-temperatures-at-record-leve  

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Donald Rosenfeld

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Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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