This post is an overview of the January weather in Chicago, including snow and precipitation forecasts, as well as tips on how to dress and things to do.
Do not let January weather scare you away from enjoying the city this month! If you come prepared, you will still be able to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer. Be sure to check out our Things to Do in January and the best Indoor/Winter activities in Chicago.
January tends to be the coldest month, but also the snowiest month of the year. The temperatures reach between 26 °F and 36°F (-3 – 2 °C), with an average high of 31 °F (-1 °C). On the other end, the average low this month is 17 °F (-9°C).
January is typically the coldest month out of the year, with an average of 16 days remaining below freezing, and only one day will reach above 50 °F (10 °C).
Unfortunately, Chicago in January is in nearly constant cloud cover but there are about 7 clear days throughout the month. Though it is one of the driest months, it is also one of the snowiest.
There are about 8-11 days with rain or new snowfall with chances of snow decreasing as the month goes by.
During this month, the city often sees 10.8 inches (27.4 mm) of snowfall.
Chicago usually will have at least an inch (2.5) cm of snowfall that will stay on the ground for about 17 days.
Chicago in January is cold so you’ll want to wear warm winter clothes such as thick jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and winter boots. Waterproof gear is good idea to help keep you warm even in the snow.
We run tours all year round and some of our special Winter tours even utilize indoor options so its always wise to have some layers.
Below are 9 top things to do in January in Chicago. But, be sure to read our full post on what to do in Chicago in January, which includes free things to do, night and family-friendly activities and attractions, as well as our definitive post on the best things to do in Chicago.
And if you are planning on visiting many of Chicago’s top attractions, then you should consider a tourist discount pass as you could save up to 50% of retail ticket prices to tours, attractions, and restaurants.
Be sure to check out all the top things to do in January in our main post.
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