Located in the “heartland” of America, Illinois is the 25th largest state in the country, and Illinois residents experience all four seasons in full effect. Some parts of the state feel the cold winter months harder than others, while other parts are known to have milder climates. So, which city in Illinois has the best weather?

When it comes to the city in Illinois with the best weather, many experts point to Cairo. Located in the southernmost part of the state, Cairo has the best weather, with mild winters and lower snowfall than other cities. It also has much more preferable weather than the northern part of Illinois, which experiences harsher winters.

However, many cities in Illinois have similar overall weather. A few years ago, Best Places published a report on the climate of Cairo, IL. According to their report, Cairo had the best overall weather in the state. However, what factors went into their calculations?

The High Temperatures in Cairo Are Comfortable

Cairo’s temperatures were reported as quite tolerable compared to the rest of the state. According to the previously mentioned report, Cairo’s record hottest month is July, with an average high temperature of 89 degrees. Although, the highs usually range from 70 to 85 degrees. In comparison, the state capital of Springfield had an average high temperature of 85 degrees.  

Cairo Has Milder Winters

Many people outside of the state are not aware of this, but there is a distinct difference between the weather in the northern part of Illinois compared to the southern. According to a report published by Only in Your State, the northern region of Illinois has a humid continental climate, meaning that, on average, it experiences colder winters; in contrast, the southern region, where Cairo is located, has a humid subtropical climate, resulting in milder winters.

This sharp contrast between the northern and southern parts of the state definitely plays into Cairo’s good weather. While northern cities like Chicago experience extreme degrees of both super hot and super cold weather, Cairo has milder winters with hot summers. This makes the city a much more preferable choice compared to other cities in the state, especially in the north.

Cairo Has Very Low Amounts of Snowfall

When it comes to the Midwest, it is impossible to ignore the winters. The state of Illinois is no exception. Many parts of the state consistently receive a considerable amount of snowfall in the winter months. There are also many days where the temperature gets extremely cold and drops to freezing or lower. This is also where Cairo differs from many cities in the state.

According to the same report from Best Places, Cairo receives an annual snowfall of 6.9 inches and has 81.1 days of the year when the temperature falls below zero degrees. This is quite low, especially for Illinois.

In comparison, Chicago receives a whopping 35.1 inches of snowfall and has 103.9 days of the temperature dropping below zero degrees, making it one of the snowiest and coldest places in the entire state. Meanwhile, Springfield receives an annual snowfall of 17.7 inches and has 116.1 days where the temperature goes below zero.

As you can see, Cairo has a considerably lower amount of snowfall and consequently a lower number of cold days compared with cities in the rest of the state. This factor truly helps Cairo cement its spot as having the best weather in Illinois.

Cairo Experiences Fewer Severe Storms

There is a vast difference in the terrain of north Illinois compared to the south. While the whole state has many flat prairies and valleys, the south has a few mountain ranges and big hills. These mountains and hills help break the strong winds.

As a result, southern Illinois—including Cairo—sees fewer severe storms and tornadoes, and the damage brought on by these natural occurrences is less than the flat, northern part of the state.


After analyzing the average high temperatures, the amount of average snowfall and low temperatures, and the difference between northern and southern Illinois, we can conclude that Cairo does, in fact, have the best weather in Illinois.

While many people are unaware of this small town, it is quite a nice place to spend some time. While larger cities such as Chicago and Springfield get more of the attention, when it comes to weather and climate, Cairo has them beat!