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The craziest St. Patrick’s Day weather since 1871 — and how the Tribune covered it

Chicago Tribune

Mar 29, 2021 6: 11 AM

From 81 degrees to 4 inches of snow: Here’s a stumble on on the warmest, coldest, wettest and snowiest weather on St. Patrick’s Day — March 17 — in Chicago going relief to 1871.

Info is from the Nationwide Weather Carrier’s Chicago place of job and measured on the metropolis’s legitimate recording enviornment, which has been O’Hare World Airport since Jan. 17, 1980. For impartial a pair of century earlier than that, sites around downtown Chicago, the College of Chicago and Halfway Airport had been historic to web the metropolis’s legitimate weather info.

Onlookers watch the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17, 2012, in Chicago. Tens of thousands took advantage of record high temperatures and sunny weather to attend the city's annual celebration.

Onlookers stumble on the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17, 2012, in Chicago. Tens of thousands took again of yarn excessive temperatures and sunny weather to encourage the metropolis’s annual event. (Brian Kersey/Getty Photography)

Chicago skilled its warmest St. Patrick’s Day on yarn in 2012, when the excessive temperature hit 81 degrees at O’Hare — seven degrees hotter than the earlier yarn of 74 degrees, which modified into as soon as enviornment in 2009. It modified into as soon as the fourth consecutive day of yarn-surroundings temperatures for the relate.

A man dressed as a leprechaun greets people watching the St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago on March 17, 2012.

A man dressed as a leprechaun greets individuals observing the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago on March 17, 2012.

Chicago had recorded apt 10 days in the 80s in March in the earlier 142 years on the time, in response to WGN-TV chief meteorologist Tom Skilling.

The long-established excessive for March 17 in Chicago is 47 degrees, in response to the Nationwide Weather Carrier, which also happens to be in essentially the most frequent excessive temperature fluctuate for the day — the 40s.

The coldest excessive temperature on St. Patrick’s Day modified into as soon as in 1941, when the excessive reached 11 degrees.

In 2021, the excessive modified into as soon as 39 degrees.

“It’s good to no longer be bundled up.”

Amy Bull, Rogers Park resident (March 17, 2012)


Portion quote & hyperlink

As published in the March 18, 1900, edition of the Chicago Tribune.

As published in the March 18, 1900, edition of the Chicago Tribune. (Chicago Tribune Archives)

Chicago skilled its lowest temperature for March 17 in 1900, when the mercury dropped to unfavorable 1 level. Quiet, an estimated 3,000 individuals walked in or watched the metropolis’s St. Patrick’s Day parade as “whirlwinds of snow” swept over roofs and swirled upward in gusts.

As published in the March 18, 1900, edition of the Chicago Tribune.

As published in the March 18, 1900, edition of the Chicago Tribune. (Chicago Tribune Archives)

Even a goat with its horns dyed inexperienced and ribbons tied in its shaggy coat — a representative of the West Side Irish-American club — braved the weather, even supposing the “punches, jibes, and flauntings of the crowds alongside the route” had been potentially worse.

That morning’s Chicago Tribune reported the earlier day’s zero-level temperature modified into as soon as fully the fifth recorded “for the explanation that institution of the native Weather bureau, thirty years previously.”

The long-established low temperature on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is 30 degrees, in response to the Nationwide Weather Carrier.

In 2021, the low modified into as soon as 34 degrees.

“Outdated residents disclose that never before in Chicago did a St. Patrick’s day parade manufacture beneath such stress of cool and snow.”

Chicago Tribune, March 18, 1900


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As published in the March 18, 1965, edition of the Chicago Tribune.

As published in the March 18, 1965, edition of the Chicago Tribune. (Chicago Tribune Archives)

St. Patrick’s Day has been largely dry or resulted in a cramped amount of rain for all but four of the past 150 years.

State Street gets a name change for St. Patrick's Day — O'State Street — and also a layer of snow on March 17, 1965.

Philosophize Road will get a establish trade for St. Patrick’s Day — O’Philosophize Road — and likewise a layer of snow on March 17, 1965. (Cliff Oliver/Chicago Tribune Archives)

Rain gathering in half of an creep or more has came about apt four times since 1871, in response to the Nationwide Weather Carrier.

Primarily the most rain ever recorded on March 17 in Chicago modified into as soon as 1.42 inches in 1965. Wind gusts of as much as 52 miles per hour had been recorded. In spite of “snow, sleet, and freezing rain,” nonetheless, thousands modified into out for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Philosophize Road. Crews labored all morning to obvious snow and “manufacture definite that there wasn’t a single puddle left on the parade route,” the Tribune reported.

In 2021, 0.37 inches fell.

“Rain fell on the streets and iced up in areas. Then it snowed, after which it hailed and rained. In a number of peculiar moments the sun broke in the course of the clouds in temporary but beat a snappy retreat.”

Chicago Tribune, March 18, 1965


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St. Patrick's Day revelers frolic in the snow on March 17, 1984, near the intersection of Delaware Place and State Street. A late winter snowstorm dropped 4.1 inches of snow at O'Hare International Airport and made going tough for those out to celebrate the wearing of the green.

St. Patrick’s Day revelers frolic in the snow on March 17, 1984, arrive the intersection of Delaware Attach and Philosophize Road. A gradual winter snow fall dropped 4.1 inches of snow at O’Hare World Airport and made going complicated for those out to celebrate the wearing of the inexperienced. (Michael Budrys/Chicago Tribune)

Since 1871, snowstorm of an creep or more has been recorded apt 5 times on March 17.

The ultimate St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm came about in 1984 when 4.1 inches blanketed O’Hare airport. Two inches of snow — the winter season’s heaviest hourly accumulation — fell between 5 and 6 p.m. on the airport.

“Devour the froth on a pint of ale from the Auld Nation, a gradual winter snow fall frothed Chicago in white Saturday night, clearing the streets of many St. Patrick’s Day revelers.”

Chicago Tribune, March 18, 1984


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Depth of snow on the bottom

Snow has been recorded on the bottom on March 17 for apt 10 of the past 150 years. Two of those years had snow depth of 5 inches or more.

Chicago had a snow depth of 7 inches — the deepest ever for the day — on March 17, 1960. The day modified into as soon as also memorable for 2 youngsters who historic St. Patrick’s Day as their excuse for skipping college. Both wandered almost 1 mile out onto an ice-covered Lake Michigan. Onlookers at 79th Road tipped off police, who escorted the boys off the ice and to the Gargantuan Crossing police predicament where they “got a scolding from juvenile officers,” in response to the Tribune.

Martin Luther King Jr., left, has a coffee break with Chicago police Superintendent O.W. Wilson in Wilson's office at 11th and State streets in Chicago on Jan. 27, 1966.

Martin Luther King Jr., left, has a coffee destroy with Chicago police Superintendent O.W. Wilson in Wilson’s place of job at 11th and Philosophize streets in Chicago on Jan. 27, 1966. (Chicago Tribune historic impart)

“Altho it has been frail for the police chief [inevitably an Irishman] to opt phase in St. Patrick’s day festivities, or no less than nominate an Irishman to impart him, Wilson had no representative on the reviewing stand Thursday. Wilson instructed newshounds he ‘didn’t occupy time’ to opt phase.”

Chicago Tribune, March 18, 1960


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“Babbling burglar” Richard Morrison instructed authorities that he dedicated burglaries with the abet of eight Chicago police officers working in the Summerdale district on the North Side. The officers no longer fully covered for him during the destroy-ins, but additionally helped haul away the loot in their squad vehicles. All eight had been arrested and convicted of taking portion in the burglary ring.

Upon the announcement of Wilson’s retirement in 1967, Mayor Richard J. Daley instructed newshounds: “When any history of Chicago is written, his huge contribution to our metropolis’s development will impart one amongst its most appealing chapters.”

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