Snow is in the air in Chicago for the 8th time this season. Not since November 25–nearly two weeks ago– when 0.5″ fell, has there been measurable snowfall here. And, while this snow system won’t produce huge snow totals, it marks the first time much of the area will emerge from a snowfall with an accumulation on the ground. It’s likely to be the Chicago area’s biggest snow accumulation with a system in the nearly 9 months since 9.2″ fell March 12, 2013.
Amounts this time will be NOWHERE near that amount. 1 to 3″ are likely across the city tapering to around an inch south suburbs and locally up to 2-4″ north in areas adjoining the Illinois/Wisconsin.
The typical Chicago December produces 10.8″ of snow–that 28% of the “normal” FULL season 36.7″ tally at O’Hare here in Chicago (the term “normal” refers by international agreement to the smoothed average of snowfall over the most recent 30 year period examined by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, who generates these numbers. The “normals” used today cover the period from 1981 and 2010. “Normals” clearly aren’t perfect indicators of typical snowfall, but they offer a benchmark against which we are able to gauge meteorological trends).