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2014 Winter Has Most Days At Zero Or Below In History

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The unrelenting, bitter winter of 2013-14 is by one measure the harshest in the history of Chicago.

This winter, there have been 26 days in which the low temperature was zero or below.

There were 25 subzero days in 1884-85, but no days at zero. In 2013-14, the low has dipped below zero 23 times, including 16 below on Jan 6, which set a record for that day.

The total below zero days ranks No. 4 all-time. There were two seasons--1935-36 and 1962-63--that had 24 below zero days.

The chances of seeing another day below zero in the next seven days is unlikely.

There have been a few days in mid- to late-March that have been sub-zero, but historically they are rare.

The average temperature for this season is near 19 degrees, the third coldest since records have been kept, starting in the 1800s.

The record is 18.3 degrees set in 1904.

A total of 90 percent of Lake Michigan is covered in ice, equaling the highest level ever.

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