CHICAGO (STMW) — Temperatures skidded so sharply this weekend that Chicago felt like Alaska — only colder.
The high temperature Saturday topped out at 65 degrees, demolishing the old record of 69 degrees set more than 30 years ago. The high temperature didn’t even reach the average low of 68 degrees expected for Chicago in late July.
A slight recovery Sunday pushed the high temperature back to 69 degrees — not a record but definitely far more frigid than the average high of 84 degrees typically seen this time of year.
“It’s like a September weekend,” said Charles Mott, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
Adding insult to injury, temperatures in much of Alaska this weekend topped 80 degrees.
What’s going on?
The culprit is a cold air mass that slipped out of Canada and “decided to vacation in the upper Midwest for the weekend,” Mott said.
Boaters, beachgoers and anyone stepping outside couldn’t help noticing the unusually cool weather.
The temperatures couldn’t keep John and Caroline Kacena from taking their powerboat out of the 31st Street Harbor for cruises on Saturday and Sunday, but the cold coupled with gusty winds kept those voyages brief.
And hunkering down on their boat, “Johnny,” was no picnic Saturday night.
“It was cold. We had our heater on,” John Kacena said Sunday.
Susan Movic never even made it out on the water, despite traveling to Chicago from Bloomington in hopes of going sailing with family members.
“I was excited to go out, but it didn’t happen,” she said Sunday at the harbor. “We sat on the dock and had a picnic.”
Even that was a little chilly, Movic said, adding: “when the sun came out, it was nice.”
Chicago resident Zhe Li didn’t let the cool temperatures stop him from taking his 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, to the 31st Street beach with his wife and mother-in-law.
“I think this is really pleasant,” Li said, watching his daughter play in the sand. “We’re not using the air conditioning.”
Temperatures are expected to top 80 degrees later in the week.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)