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Chicago Struggles Through Coldest March in 54 Years

The Midwest has been pummeled by harsh arctic weather all winter. Now that March is beginning to come to a close and the first day of spring has officially arrived, Chicago and other parts of the midwest are still shivering. Another cold front has passed over the city this week and strong winds are continuing to bite the city–making the existing cold that much colder. This March is set to be among the coldest Marches in the past 143 years. The average temperature this month in the city has been a frigid 29.6 degrees–notably lower than the 143 year average of 35.5 degrees. For Chicago, this is the reassuring welcome to spring.

 

Rains, Snow, and Wind

The year so far has been characterized by little more than snow, wind, rain, and very cold temperatures across the midwest and throughout much of the northeast. The region has yet to see much reprieve from these brutalizing conditions that have caused massive disruptions in business, government, transportation, schools, and led to widespread power outages. Recent snowfall has continued to entrench winter in the region as other parts of the country begin the transition into spring weather. The latest cold front triggered snow across Chicago and throughout eastern Indiana and pushed bitterly cold winds into much of the city.

 

A Long, Cold Spring

The northeast U.S is still being consumed by blizzard conditions that don’t seem to be subsiding anytime soon. The midwest has experienced slightly more gentle weather throughout March, but the Great Lakes region is expected to endure a prolonged winter as March turns into April. As one of the coldest months of March on record, 2014 started out and has progressed to be a year of temperature extremes.

Chicago is no stranger to cold weather–especially during the often long transition from cold winter to warmer spring. When you’ve become accustomed to double digit negative temperatures for 4 months, high 30s and 40s feels pretty warm. Even considering the especially harsh winter in Chicago this year, the temperatures in March should slowly be climbing, but they instead seem to be continually falling. Fortunately, the latest forecasts are predicting a warming for the first week of April where temperatures are expected to rise to the 60s. Eventually the city will thaw, but for now early spring remains as cold as most people can remember.

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