The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

The Ice Has Melted But Lake Michigan Is Still Freezing

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 15, 2014 8:30PM

Photo credit: Ken Ilio

The current official temperature is 66 degrees—decidedly not beach weather. While the beaches have been mostly warm since we entered summer the water remains gooseflesh-inducing cold, more than a month after the remaining ice from the brutal winter that held the Midwest in a death grip melted away.

The Tribune spoke with Ricky Castro of the National Weather Service’s Chicago office who said the water temperature at several Chicago beaches remains in the upper 50s, a far cry from normal readings in the 70s and another Chiberian reminder. We looked at a cross-section of beaches on the Park District’s beaches website and found the temperature slowly increases moving north to south along the lakefront.

The water temperature at Jarvis, Juneway and Leone Beaches currently sits at 59 degrees. Foster Avenue Beach’s water temperature is at 60.8 degrees. Further south the water temperature at North Avenue beach is 62 degrees. The water temperature at 31st Street is also 62 degrees while Rainbow Beach is at a balmy 66 degrees.

Castro added our mild weather, where Chicago has done a great impersonation of Seattle or San Francisco in summer, is a contributing factor. The water temperatures are having a positive effect, however, on certain species of fish. Shedd Aquarium senior research biologist Philip Willink told the Trib fish species such as yellow perch and coho salmon are thriving.