Longest time span between Chicago’s first and last measurable snows

Dear Tom,
What winter had the greatest amount of time pass between its first measurable snowfall and its last?
Randall Mix McHenry
Dear Randall,
It was more than half a century ago in the winter of 1953-54 when Chicago logged its longest snow season, a 185-day period from the season’s first measurable snow of 3.2 inches on November 5to the last snow of 0.2 inches on May 8. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski informed us that a typical Chicago snow season extends 139 days from November 16-April 3. The city’s shortest snow season occurred during the 2011-12 season, spanning just 87 days from a 0.5 inch snowfall on December 9 to 0.3 inches on March 4. Wachowski also noted that dating back to the winter of 1884-85, the city’s earliest measurable snow (0.3 inches) fell on October 12, 2006 and the latest(0.2 inches) on May 11, 1966.

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