Could we have record low for snow this winter?

Dear Tom,
What is the record lowest snowfall total for a winter season in Chicago? Could we threaten that?
— Richard P., Valparaiso
Dear Richard,
Absolutely not. If the city did not receive another flake of snow for the rest of the winter, this season’s nearly 17-inch total to date would far exceed the city’s least snowy winter of 1920-21, with 9.8 inches. Buoyed by our very snowy November, with 12.7 inches, and the recent January storm, the current 16.8-inch seasonal snowfall would rank as only the city’s fifth least snowy season. Dating to the winter of 1884-85, Chicago has logged just 10 cold seasons with fewer than 20 inches of snow, most recently the 2011-12 winter, with 19.8 inches. Despite our December and early January snow drought, Chicago’s 2018-19 snow season is actually running nearly 3 inches above the season-to-date normal of 13.9 inches.

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