Chicago lies within the humid continental climate zone, and experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are warm to hot and often humid, with a July daily average of 75.8 °F. In a normal summer, temperatures can exceed 90 °F as many as 21 days. Winters are cold and snowy with few sunny days, and the normal January high is just below freezing. Spring and autumn are mild seasons with low humidity. Dewpoint temperatures in the summer range from 55.7 °F in June to 61.7 °F in July.
The city can experience extreme winter cold waves and summer heat waves that may last for several consecutive days. Thunderstorms are common during the spring and summer months which may sometimes produce hail, high winds, and tornadoes. Like other major cities, Chicago also experiences urban heat island, making the city and its suburbs milder than surrounding rural areas, especially at night and in winter. Also, the proximity to Lake Michigan keeps lakefront Chicago cooler in early summer and milder in winter than areas to the west.
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