Best Time to Visit Chicago

Fountain Pan 2, Chicago (Brandon O\\\'Connor)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-SA 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Chicago. We created climate tables and charts for the location of Chicago. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Chicago for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol -11 °C to 29 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 1.384.21 in (6 – 10 Days of Rain)
Show temperatures in degree

Geographical location

Chicago is located in the northeast of the state of Illinois. About 2.7 million inhabitants live within the city limits on an area of about 380 square miles. Chicago is also a metropolitan region with a total area of over 17000 square miles and almost 10 million inhabitants.

This results in a population density of 4,615 inhabitants per square kilometre and thus roughly corresponds to the level of Munich (4,600 inhabitants per km²), the statistically most densely populated city in Germany.

Chicago is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is the third largest city in the United States. North of the metropolis lies Milwaukee. Chicago is divided into nine community areas, which are divided into 77 districts. Chicago is an important economic center and transportation hub in the United States. Logistics are mainly handled by rail, air and sea.

Climate in Chicago

Cloud Gate (Robert Lowe)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' Chicago has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature is -6.2 °C in January, whereby extreme cold periods with values of -10 to –18 °C are not unusual. In return, the day temperatures from June to August are almost always above 27 °C and easily exceed 30 °C on hot days.

Chicago has a statistical maximum of 10 rainy days per month, the rainy month is usually April. In the warm months of June, July and August the weather is fantastic with up to 10.5 hours of sunshine daily. The highest temperature in Chicago was 41 °C in 1934.

During the North American cold spell in 1985, a minus record of –33 °C was set. This shows the extremes that the continental climate in Chicago (Illinois) can reach. The city on Lake Michigan has around 30 beaches on its shores, which are popular destinations for locals and tourists from all over the world, especially in summer.

Best Time to Visit Chicago: Overview

JanuaryJan
Winter
often very cold
FebruaryFeb
Winter
often very cold
MarchMar
Suitable time to traveltime
but coldbut cold
AprilApr
Good time to traveltime
but still chillybut cold
MayMay
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Chicago
JuneJun
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Chicago
JulyJul
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Chicago
AugustAug
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Chicago
SeptemberSep
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Chicago
OctoberOct
Good time to traveltime
but chillybut chilly
NovemberNov
Suitable time to traveltime
but coldbut cold
DecemberDec
Winter
often very cold

When to go to Chicago?


The humidity in Chicago is quite high all year round, which makes the cold winters and spring months seem even harder. Basically a cosmopolitan city like Chicago is of course open all year round, but the temperatures from November to April can be a real challenge for vacationers.

From May it gets noticeably warmer, the summer months are hot and in autumn Chicago still remains sunny and mild. Accordingly, the best time to travel to Chicago in Illinois is from mid-May to the end of September. October can also be a wonderful time to travel to the city on Lake Michigan in warmer years.

You must have heard of the nickname “Windy City” as Chicago’s nickname. Many travel guides associate this term with the strong wind that often whistles through the skyscrapers of the skyline. However, historians attribute the term “Windy City” more to the windy activities of certain smuggling gangs that were once very common in Chicago. Other sources said that the inhabitants of Cincinnati gave Chicago this somewhat derogatory epithet.

No matter whether it is a small rivalry between Ohio and Illinois or “Windy City” has a completely different origin: The fact is that Chicago is not significantly windier than other coastal cities in the USA according to official weather records and measurements.


Climate Chart Chicago

Climate Chart Chicago
Show temperatures in degree

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Table Chicago

In the following, you will find the climate table for Chicago, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, and Hours of Sunshine.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature-2°15°21°26°29°28°24°17°
Night Temperature-11°-8°-2°14°17°16°12°-0°-7°
Precipitation (inch)1.531.362.693.643.323.783.664.223.822.412.922.47
Rainy days7691098888788
Hours of Sunshine45679101098643
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature is 9.5 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: July (22.9 °C)
Coldest month: January (-6.2 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 35.82 inch on 96 rainy days

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

There is no rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation).

Months that have possible snowfall: January, February, March, April, November, and December

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 10.4 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 6.9 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Highlights and Attractions


Basically, Chicago itself already offers a number of great sights, especially in the cultural field, the metropolis is a pioneer. The city is known for its distinctive theatre culture, the Goodman Theatre is not only the focus of the region at Chicago Theatre Week. Important museums such as the Astronomy Museum and the Adler Planetarium as well as the Museum of Science and Industry offer interesting impressions even in bad weather.

Architecturally there are many buildings from the Bauhaus style to admire, not least fascinating are the Lake Point Tower and the Willis Tower as the tallest building in Chicago. The Skydeck Chicago observation deck (in Willis Tower) offers a fascinating panoramic view of the city, Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. Also impressive is the Blcik of the Ferris wheel at the popular Navy Pier.

The Millenium Park with the famous Cloud Gate is another attraction of the city. This highly polished sculpture is also called “The Big Bean” because of its shape and is probably the most popular photo motif in Chicago. Near Lake Michigan, the impressive Buckingham Fountain, one of the city’s landmarks, also attracts visitors with great water shows and lighting effects.

Popular Activities

More attractions

Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat | Chicago: 90-Minute Mob and Crime Bus Tour | Go Chicago Card: Save up to 55% on top attractions | Chicago Classic Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise | 360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip-the-Ticket Line | Loop Interior Architecture Walking: 2-Hour Walking Tour | Chicago Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: Classic, Premium or Deluxe |

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in Chicago
light rain     light rain, 11.8 °C
Clouds: 90 %       Wind: 7 mph WNW
Air Pressure: 1001 hPa       Humidity: 81 %
Last updated: 18th Apr 2019, 02:01 pm
The next days …
18th Apr 201919th Apr 201920th Apr 201921st Apr 201922nd Apr 201923rd Apr 2019
light rain8 °C to 12 °Clight rain6 °C to 8 °Cbroken clouds5 °C to 15 °Cmoderate rain8 °C to 25 °Cmoderate rain8 °C to 10 °Cheavy intensity rain7 °C to 8 °C
8 °C to 12 °C6 °C to 8 °C5 °C to 15 °C8 °C to 25 °C8 °C to 10 °C7 °C to 8 °C
Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 52 %Clouds: 12 %Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 100 %
0.08 in of rain0.1 in of rainNo Precipitation0.33 in of rain0.13 in of rain0.68 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
Show temperatures in degree

USA: Regions

Chicago is part of the holiday destination USA. We analyzed the climate for additional regions, in order to provide you with information about the best time to visit and the expected holiday weather:

Chicago: Experiences of our Visitors

There are 3 reviews for Chicago holiday already. Average rating is 3.3 of 5 stars.
  1. Avatar Preview
    Silke, 53 years old was there in May

    Pleasantly warm, as there was usually a light wind. A rain shower

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

  2. Avatar Preview
    Carin, 61 years old was there in October

    From the 18th – 29th: We had 4 very warm summer days during 10 days at first, then it became 3 days somewhat cooler, changing cloudy, but mostly sunny. It followed 1 rainy day and afterwards it became clearly colder – cold wind. There were even a few shower of sleet, obviously autumn began.

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

  3. Avatar Preview
    Silke , 45 years old was there in April

    In the 4 weeks of Chicago and the surrounding area there were 2 days with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius. The rest was rain, snow, hail and a lot of wind at temperatures around 2 degrees Celsius to about 10 degrees Celsius.

    Weather Rating: 1 stars – Mostly bad

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Chicago River, Chicago, IL (Doug Sun Beams)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
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