When, on average, is the last measurable snowfall in Chicago?

Dear Tom,

When, on average, is the last measurable snowfall in Chicago? I want to know when is it safe to take my snow tires off and switch to regular tires.

Calvin Brown Jr.

Dear Calvin,

It’s probably safe to change your tires after filing your income tax on April 15. While measurable snows have occurred beyond that date, they have accumulated only a few inches and melt quickly.

The city’s latest significant snowfall occurred nearly half a century ago when 6.8 inches of snow fell during the April 15-17 period, but the snow had melted by April 18. In 1967, 3.1 inches fell in the wake of the Oak Lawn tornado, on April 23, but the snow was gone by the next day. On May 1-2,1940, 2.2 inches of snow fell in a freak storm, the city’s latest significant snowfall. The city’s long-term climate records indicate the average date of the last measurable snow is April 3 and the last trace about April 21.

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