I'm curious about Chicago's summertime weather.

My understanding is that the Lake acts as a heat sink. It absorbs a lot of the sun's radiation meaning that the nearby land is cooler.

But I was wondering if easterly winds also come into play. If winds blowing from the east pass over Lake Michigan, are they cooled down?

What about winds coming from the west? If Chicago gets wind from the west/north-west during the summer, shouldn't the winds be as hot as the air?

Obviously this is not the case, since the only breeze I have felt during the summer is a cool breeze. So, what cools down wind coming from the west? (If we get winds from the west in the summer.)

Lot of questions here, and some rambling. I'd appreciate it someone could confirm/debunk my suspicions, as well as answer my questions.

  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about meteorology.
    – Flimzy
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 12:25
  • @Flimzy Where else would I post it on StackExchange?
    – ktm5124
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 15:12
  • You could propose a Meteorology site on Area 51. Otherwise, I don't think it fits on SE currently.
    – Flimzy
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 16:23
  • If you're simply interested in how to dress while visiting Chicago, that question might be on-topic, but most questions like that are closed as too specific, with suggestions to use Google to find historical temperature highs and lows for a given location.
    – Flimzy
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 16:23
  • @ktm5124 You might want to try Physics.SE or Skeptics.SE for this question. It should be suited to their model better. Cheers! Commented May 30, 2014 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


My new favourite weather site, WeatherSpark, has as one of its features an Averages page, such as this one for Chicago. The averges page gives a distribution of values for various weather metrics, over a year. The one relevant to this question would I think be Dew Point:

Dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find the weather than relative humidity because it more directly relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid.

For Chicago, between early July and late August the daily dew point maximum will typically be in the 'muggy' range.

There's also a Wind Direction section which suggests that in summer the wind is from a westerly direction more often than not, but not dramatically so.

Disclaimer: I have never been to Chicago.

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