Is this one of the coldest Halloweens on record in Chicago?

So just how cold is it and where does it rank?

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With snow already falling across the Chicago area for Halloween, the spooky forecast appears to have finally arrived. But beyond the snow, temperatures could bring an even bigger fright, bringing one of the area's coldest Halloweens on record.

So just how cold is it and where does it rank?

Chicagoans usually consider Halloween to be cold and maybe snowy, but most holidays haven’t been that cold, nor have they really been that snowy. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, the city of Chicago has only seen snow on eight Halloweens since recordkeeping began.

The area’s temperature and precipitation patterns usually change this time of year, so Halloween can seem cold in our memories, even if temperatures only drop from 75 to 60 degrees.

Residents may also still have 2019 fresh on their minds, when it was 33 degrees and the city had a record 3.4 inches of snowfall.

This year's forecast isn't quite at that level, but it is historically cold, with highs only reaching into the upper 30s.

While the day isn't over yet, the forecasted high for Oct. 31 was around 38 degrees, which would make the holiday the fifth-coldest on record. 

The 30-year average high temperature for Oct. 31 is 56 degrees, while the average low is 41 degrees.

In all, 49 Halloweens have had highs in the 50s since records began 150 years ago. Compare that to 38 Halloweens in the 60s and 35 in the 40s.  We’ve also had 20 Halloweens in the 70s, and just one when the mercury exceeded 80 degrees.

With the wind, it’s going to feel like the mid-to-upper 20s during trick-or-treating hours. The wind will get stronger in the afternoon and evening as the low passes through. 

The Chicago area will see the chance for more scattered snow showers in the afternoon and evening too.

Temperatures are going to be above freezing, so we should see “wet” snow that melts on contact.  However, some accumulating snow on grass, cars, and elevated surfaces are possible.  This means Halloween costumes that aren’t water-resistant could also be wet, adding to the discomfort.

And there's potential for a lake effect snow band to set up, which could bring higher totals for areas along the lakefront in Cook County and northwest Indiana. Still, there are several factors at play, including the location of the lake effect band of snow and how intense the snow becomes. 

This is a very compact low-pressure system that’s going to be in and out of the area in a day, but the timing couldn’t be any worse for Halloween, so you’ll need to plan to stay dry and warm while out trick-or-treating.

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