Vintage Video Shows What Chicago Was Like During Its All-Time Coldest Temperatures

We're taking a look back at five days in the 1980's that are the coldest the city has ever experienced

The city of Chicago is going through one of the coldest days in its history, and we thought it would be interesting to take a trip back in time to see how NBC 5 covered some of the most frigid weather this city has ever experienced.

Jan. 19, 1985 (-23 degrees)

On this date, the temperature plunged all the way to minus-23 degrees, the fifth-coldest date on record. NBC 5’s George Ciccarone had all the details of how the city dealt with the Arctic blast:

On what was considered the fifth-coldest day in Chicago history, NBC 5’s George Ciccarone has the dramatic images of the Windy City frozen to a halt. 

Dec. 24, 1983 (-25 degrees) 

It was a Christmas Chill in 1983, as the temperature dropped to an appropriate minus-25 degrees. David Kohler was on the scene as Chicagoans saw their holiday iced over in a big way.

It was a Christmas cold snap in Dec. 1983, and NBC 5’s David Kohler talked to residents who had their holiday cheer tested to the extreme. 

Jan. 16, 1982 (-25 degrees) 

On the third-coldest day in Chicago history, roads across the Midwest were blocked by blowing snow and frigid temperatures, and those trying to venture out in the cold often found their cars were simply not up to the task:

The weather was so cold on Jan. 16, 1982 that roads across the Midwest were left impassable due to the conditions. 

The cold also caused plenty of other problems for Chicago residents, and Barbara Shlek was on that story:

NBC 5’s Barbara Shlek was on the story the day that Chicago experienced its third coldest day on record. 

Jan. 10, 1982 (-26 degrees) 

At minus-26 degrees, this was the second-coldest day in the history of the city, and news events occurred all around the city as the mercury plunged.

Fred Briggs had a recap of the day:

On the second-coldest day in Chicago history, Fred Briggs explored the impact that the frigid weather was having on the city. 

While residents in another Chicago community dealt with a devastating fire:

On the second-coldest day in Chicago history, fire ravaged a home, sending a family fleeing for safety. 

Deborah Norville also had the story about how 27 people were evacuated from an apartment complex because of a carbon monoxide leak that went unaddressed for several days:

27 people were hospitalized on one of the coldest days in Chicago history due to a carbon monoxide leak at an apartment complex. NBC 5’s Deborah Norville had that report on Jan. 10, 1982. 

Jan. 20, 1985 (-27 degrees) 

The current reigning champion for coldest day in Chicago history, the temperature never got above minus-27 degrees on this frigid date. George Ciccarone has the details:

On the coldest day in Chicago’s history, reporter George Ciccarone had all the details on how the city, and the Midwest in general, were dealing with the cold. 
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