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CHICAGO (STMW) – Once again, not only has the record high temperature for a March day in Chicago been broken, but the mercury has surpassed 80 degrees for the fifth day in a row.
Record high temperatures have been set on each of the past five days and the National Weather Service says new record high temperatures could be set for each of the next few days, as well.
The record high temperature for March 18 of 74 degrees, which was set in 1969, was history by noon, when the temperature in Chicago had reached 75 degrees, according to the weather service. By 3 p.m. the temperature had gone up to 81 degrees.
This follows a wave of record-setting high temperatures that likely isn’t over yet.
Saturday’s high temperature of 81 degrees broke the previous record of 74 degrees, which was set in 2009.
Friday’s high of 82 degrees beat the old high temperature record for March 16 of 78 degrees, set in 1945, as well as setting the record for the earliest 82-degree day in Chicago, which had previously been set in 1945.
High temperatures of 81 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, which smashed the record highs for March 14 and 15, according to the weather service.
The weather service says there is the potential for this record-breaking streak to extend to six or seven days, depending on how warm temperatures get on Monday and Tuesday. The record high temperature for March 19 is 78, set in 1921, according to the weather service. Monday’s high temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70s and Tuesday’s high could be in the lower 80s.
It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day, the weather service points out.
In Chicago prior to this year, there had only been 10 days in March with highs in the 80s, according to the weather service. That means, on average, Chicago only sees an 80-degree high day in March about once every 14 years. Already this month there have been four days above 80, with additional 80 degree highs possible the next few days.
The last time Chicago saw an 80-degree temperature in the month of March — prior to this year — was back on March 12, 1990, when the high temperature was 81, according to the weather service.
The warmest March on record in Chicago was in 1910 and again in 1945, which both averaged 48.6 degrees through March 15. Through March 16 of this year, the average monthly temperature for Chicago for March was 48.0, and the weather service says it’s likely that this month will not only break but also shatter the record for the warmest March in Chicago.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)