The Most Sizzling Heatwave to Ever Sweep Through Illinois in November

Written by Rob Hayek
Published: November 7, 2023
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November is the time of year when it starts to get cold. Yes, the summer is long gone, and autumn leaves start to fall while winter is on the way. While some states, like California, do not experience a severe cold in most cities, others begin to experience frigid temperatures.

Illinois usually gets incredibly cold as November turns to December. Yes, it is home to Chicago, otherwise known as “the Windy City.” Chicago usually has frigid temperatures. However, there have been some odd years where Illinois has been a little late in cooling down. In fact, there was a year when the state endured a heatwave.

We’re here to discuss the most sizzling heatwave to ever sweep through Illinois in November and just how hot it got. Additionally, we will also discuss the environmental impact and what happened after, as well as what caused this.

Temperatures 80 Degrees

It was 80 degrees in Chicago and 83 in Illinois in November 1950.

©Tomas-Ragina/ via Getty Images

The Temperature of the Most Sizzling Heatwave in Illinois in November

In November, the hottest temperature ever in Illinois happened in Springfield, according to the National Weather Service. Amazingly, it was 83 degrees on November 1, 1950.

According to the National Weather Service, there was a similar heatwave in Chicago in 1950. Remarkably, it was 80 degrees Fahrenheit on November 1 before slowly decreasing over the following few days, with the weather hovering between 73 and 80 for the next few weeks. It came just four years before the hottest temperature ever recorded in Illinois.

Illinois has come close to reaching that temperature a few times in November. Significantly, the next time it happened was in 1978, according to the National Weather Service. But there was another mini heatwave that happened in 2020, where the weather actually reached 78 degrees in Chicago. Likewise, Springfield came close, as it was 76 degrees for a few days in November. While it was close, it did not quite match the most sizzling heatwave to ever sweep through Illinois.

What Was the Environmental Impact

The average heat wave lasts for four days, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA also highlights that heat waves are 49 days longer than they were in the 1960s. Moreover, the heat waves that might happen in the autumn can catch people off-guard as they are not expecting it.

But there are ramifications for when a heatwave suddenly emerges out of cold temperatures or when it immediately jolts down. Significantly, many people experience health issues when sudden weather snaps occur. It’s what makes odd heatwaves so dangerous.

Heatwave hot sun. Climate Change. Global Warming.

Heatwaves in odd parts of the year can cause health issues, as people are not expecting it.

©Ed Connor/

Aftermath of the Most Sizzling Heatwave in Illinois

The heatwave lasted for a few days. Then, several sports in Illinois began to experience a drop in temperature. It was 30 degrees on November 10 in Chicago. Meanwhile, a day after it reached 83 on November 1 in Springfield, the temperatures dropped to 53 the next day.

Springfield also saw freezing conditions on November 10, representing a 54-degree drop in temperature. Amazingly, the temperatures plunged to six degrees on November 24. While these two major Illinois cities experienced the hottest temperatures on record in November, they had spiked back down to normal by the time the month concluded.

Chances of Another Heatwave in November?

The weather in Chicago and Springfield is currently normal. Therefore, it does not look like a record-setting temperature will happen in November this year. But the ever-changing climate and continuing efforts to combat climate change will go far in trying to prevent another massive heatwave from scorching through Illinois.

Overheating in homes. Tired overheated young Asian woman sitting on floor in kitchen near electric fan, cooling down at home during extreme summer heat, staying cool without air conditioning

Residents in Illinois did not expect to need their fans in November 1950.


The photo featured at the top of this post is © Keith J Finks/

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About the Author

Rob Hayek is a writer at A-Z Animals where his primary focus is on animals, sports, places, and events. Rob has been writing and researching about animals, sports, places, and events for over 10 years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Cal State University Fullerton, which he earned in 2009. A resident of California, Rob enjoys surfing and also owns a sports group which allows people from the local community to come together to play sports recreationally.

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