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Wow! What a snow! It’s been a classic lake enhanced snow and the storm snowfall totals across lakeside counties are remarkable. So too is the manner in which snow totals drop off precipitously away from the lake.

Midway Airport’s storm snow total from the always amazing Frank Wachowski has come in at 17.9 inches. Yet just across the city at O’Hare, the official storm tally there has come in at 7.5 inches. And farther west in Aurora, just 2.6 inches fell while still farther west in DeKalb, the total snowfall came in at 1.7 inches. A similarly low 1.8 inches was measured at Belvidere.

This latest snow event marks the third time this season a 6 or more inch accumulation has been recorded. It also marks the ninth consecutive day on which measurable snow has officially fallen in Chicago.

Closer analysis: 24 hour snowfall through 6am this morning

Topping the list of snowfalls–with a partial list of other reports in and around the Greater Chicago area are:

  • 18″ Valparaiso, IN
  • 18″ Evanston
  • 17″ Lincoln Square-Chicago
  • 17″ Douglas neighborhood-Chicago
  • 16″ Albany Park-Chicago
  • 14.5″ Thornton
  • 14.5″ Lakeview-Chicago
  • 14.5″ Oak Lawn
  • 11.3″ Crown Point, IN
  • 9.7″ Northbrook
  • 9.6″ Oak Forest
  • 7.8″ NWS-Romeoville
  • 7.2″ 4SW Frankfort
  • 6.4″ Schaumburg
  • 5.9″ Ottawa

A wonderful listing of all available snowfall reports in Chicago and from surrounding areas of Indiana and Wisconsin has been put together by my NWS Chicago colleagues. Access it here:

Several other interesting points on our snow:

More snow has fallen at Midway Airport in just the past two weeks – 41.5 inches–than typically falls in an entire snow season at the South Side observation site (36 inches).

Here’s another point which illustrates the unusual situation we’re in with this sudden onset of late season snow systems. There was 26 inches of snow on the ground this morning on the South Side at Midway. The record for most snow on the ground there as 29 inches in the record 1978-79 season–the same season that produced the Jane Bryne/Michael Bilandic blizzard in January of 1979.

Nationally, we have a record 73.2% of the Lower 48 beneath a cover of snow. Of the 18 years of highly detailed snowfall analysis the National Weather Service has produced, this is the highest level of snow coverage on the books. The previous highest, reports my WGN meteorological colleague Steve Kahn who researched this, occurred in 2011.