Monday marked one of the coolest Labor Days on record for the Chicago area, with temperatures topping out only in the mid-60s. Normally, the high for September 5 is 79 degrees Fahrenheit, says meteorologist Richard Castro with the National Weather Service's Chicago office.
"There's a large area of very cool high pressure that developed over the northern plains and southern Canada that has pushed toward the South, and we had a strong cold front come through the area on Saturday night into yesterday morning," said Castro. That, along with persistent and occasionally gusting winds have made for a relatively cool start to September.
"We had a high of 65 degrees in 2003," said Castro, "and that looks like the most recent occurrence of that right around the Labor Day holiday."
Castro warns that temperatures in the far northern and far western suburbs may dip into the 40s tonight, temperatures more usually seen in October. But he says Chicagoans will have a few more beach-worthy days yet this year.
"It'll feel a lot better out there by tomorrow and especially Wednesday," said Castro.
Temperatures are expected to get back into the mid-to-upper 70s later in the week.
The coldest Labor Day on record for the city of Chicago was 61 degrees in 1974.