Are we near a snow drought record?

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Dear Tom,

Are we close to a record for the greatest number of days without at least 1 inch of snow during the winter season?

— Dave Anderson

Dear Dave,

Chicago’s official snowfall records began with the winter of 1884-85. Weather historian Frank Wachowski dug through the city’s snowfall data for the 134-year period from then until now and determined that we are approaching a record for the number of days without a snow of at least 1 inch, but we have a while to go. Chicago recorded 1.7 inches of snow Dec. 17, the city’s most recent snowfall of at least 1 inch. As of Feb. 5, that was 50 days ago. Chicago’s longest spell without snow of at least 1 inch occurred twice: 64 days from Dec. 3-Feb. 4, 1905-06, and Dec. 23-Feb. 24, 1953-54. Our streak must persist for at least two more weeks to set the record.