Halloween weather in Chicago: The warmest, coldest, snowiest and wettest since 1871

In 2019, trick-or-treaters had to wear their snow boots with their costumes. It was the snowiest Halloween in Chicago history with 3.4 inches reported at O’Hare International Airport, the city’s official recording station, making it the second-heaviest October snowfall since Oct. 19, 1989.

Halloween 2019 was also one of the coldest the city has experienced. The high temperature of 35 degrees was the third coldest since 1871. And the low temperature of 24 degrees missed the record by a single degree.

But, what’s considered normal?

On average, Chicago experiences its first fall snow on Nov. 17. In 2019, the first snow arrived on Nov. 9.

An overnight low of 32 degrees can occur in Chicago between late September and late November.

Here’s a look back at the warmest, coldest, wettest and snowiest Halloweens in Chicago, going back to 1871. Data is from the National Weather Service’s Chicago office and was measured at the city’s official recording site, which has been O’Hare International Airport since Jan. 17, 1980. For almost a century prior to that, sites around downtown Chicago, the University of Chicago and Midway International Airport were used to gather definitive weather data.


People hit the beach on Oct. 31, 1950, when the temperature topped out at 84 degrees — the warmest Halloween on record in Chicago. It is still the only Oct. 31 to exceed 80 degrees.

The normal high temperature on Halloween is 56 degrees.

In 2021, the high was 53 degrees.


In 1873, the records were set for the coldest Oct. 31 daytime temperature — 31 degrees — and the lowest low temperature — 23 degrees.

The normal low temperature on Halloween is 39 degrees.

In 2019, the low was 25 degrees.


Trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31, 1994, might remember it was a rainy one — 2.26 inches of precipitation fell at O’Hare airport that day.

Rain accumulating in 1 inch or more of precipitation has only occurred four times since 1871, according to the National Weather Service.

In 150 years of records, precipitation in any amount has fallen in 75 of those years.


Since 1871, snow has been recorded falling just seven times on Halloween.

A record snowfall of 3.4 inches fell at O’Hare airport on Oct. 31, 2019.

Prior to that, the only measurable snow occurred in 2014, when 0.1 inches were recorded Halloween morning.

Sources: National Weather Service Chicago; Tribune archives and reporting

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

Katherine is a breaking news editor and reporter with a focus on news obituaries. She has worked in California, Texas and Florida during a 20-year-long career focusing on crime and mayhem. She joined the Trib in 2016 after returning to her hometown of Crystal Lake with her husband and their twins. Twitter: @312BreakingNews

Kori Rumore

Kori Rumore

Kori Rumore tells stories using data and the Chicago Tribune's archives. The Missouri School of Journalism graduate grew up in Des Plaines near the original McDonald's restaurant. Her first book, "He Had It Coming: Four Murderous Women and the Reporter Who Immortalized Their Stories," co-authored with Marianne Mather, was released in February 2020.