When we started to tell people we were moving back to Chicago in October, inevitably the first comment would be “Oh, just in time for winter.” I have always loved snow and winter and although I was a bit nervous about the adjustment back after several mild winters in London, I figured we would get back in the swing of it pretty quickly.

In London, any temperature below 0 degrees C (32 F) would cause everyone to comment about the freezing temperatures. I used to laugh and say things like “in Chicago we will go a whole month with temps below freezing” and “its normal to get temps from -20 to -17 C (-5 to 0 F)”. After their shocked reactions I would think to myself – hmmm, maybe it doesn’t really get that cold, maybe I am remembering wrong.

Well, it turns out I wasn’t remembering wrong. Friday we hit a low of -4 F (about -20 C) and a high of about 14 F (-10 C). Chicago’s daily average temperature since December 1st, 2010 has been 21.5 F (- 5 C). Full disclosure, this is the 19th coldest winter on record in the 141 years of official records but still, its cold. The good news is, dressing appropriately makes a big difference. I am loving my hat, scarf, mittens and huge sleeping bag coat every morning. And, an apartment with super thick well insulated walls makes a big difference too. I have yet to be as cold at home as I have been in some wet winter days in London.

You may also remember the complete city shutdowns we experienced in London due to a few inches of snow. This year was no exception as Heathrow was brought to a stand-still during the Christmas holiday. We have been having a fair amount of snow in Chicago this year too. Nothing compared to my east coast friends in Boston and NJ but…we have had 24 inches which is 126% of normal.

It’s only January so we will have to see what the next few months of winter will bring. 🙂

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