How does this year’s meager January and February snowfall stack up historically?

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Dear Tom,
I am utterly amazed at this winter’s continuing snow drought. How does this year’s meager January and February snowfall stack up historically?
— Gary Sobie, River Grove
Dear Gary,
Since Jan. 1, the Chicago area has received just 0.6 inches of snow, putting the city well on its way to a record low snowfall for the opening two months of the year. Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski, citing the city’s snow records dating to the winter of 1884-85, reports that the city’s four least snowy January-February tandems were 2.5 inches in 1931, 2.9 inches in 1922, 3.5 inches in 1921 and 3.7 inches in 2001.

In contrast, the snowiest was just three winters ago in 2014 when 53.2 inches fell. During the city’s snowiest winter of 1978-79 that produced 89.7 inches, January-February snowfall totaled 49.2 inches.