After a November that produced 12.7 inches of snow, or 10 times the normal for the month, flakes have been noticeably absent. Through Friday, only .3 inches of snow has accumulated at O’Hare International Airport since December 1st. On average, the city receives 5.2 inches by this point in the month. The absence of snow is not confined to the Chicago area. As of Friday, a mere 17.5% of the continental U.S. observed an inch or more of snow cover. Normally, about 38% of the country is snow covered on the first day of Winter. The widespread lack of snow has contributed to our recent mild spell. Friday’s average temperature of 35 was 9 degrees above normal, making it the 11th straight day to post a temperature surplus. With no snow cover, polar air masses modify faster, and to a greater degree, losing their potency as they settle southward.