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Weather in Chicago for Thanksgiving

by: Tom Skilling, WGN-TV Weather Team

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Thanksgiving weather was all over the map

We have Chicago weather observations available for 150 Thanksgivings, dating back to 1872. Chicago National Weather Service veteran Frank Wachowski has given us his annual Thanksgiving weather break, and here are some key takeaways from our city’s Thanksgiving weather. I got 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
  • Maximum northwest wind 23 mph.

Chicago Thanksgivings have been on the books since 1872

  • 30 of the last 150 have produced highs of 50 degrees or higher (that’s 20% of them – and that’s what the temperature will be this Thursday).
  • It has rained (a little or more) on 87 of the last 150 Thanksgivings – that’s 58% of them.
  • A trail of snow fell on 40 out of 150 Thanksgivings – 27% of them.
  • The last time snow was measured on Thanksgiving (0.1 inches) was 15 years ago in 2007.
  • It’s been quite a while – 41 years – since more than an inch of snow fell here on Thanksgiving: 3 inches in 1980.
  • A sub-zero Thanksgiving in Chicago is relatively rare — the last high was 27 degrees eight years ago in 2014.
  • Only 24 of the 150 Thanksgiving days recorded high temperatures at or below zero (16% of them.)
  • Only 10 of the 150 Thanksgivings in Chicago had a high temperature of 60 degrees or higher (just 7% of them) — the most recent: 60 degrees in 2015.


More cloudy than not–GENTLE and light winds–Only a chance of showers or isolated showers during the afternoon/evening, but the area will be limited and there will be many hours without precipitation. Chicago’s forecast high of 53 degrees is 9 degrees ABOVE NORMAL.


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