My WGN meteorological colleague has done an interesting analysis of our lackluster Chicago snow season to date. It turns out the season’s paltry 14.2″ to date (just 61% of the normal of 23.4″ through Feb 7) ranks the 6th least snowy season of the past half century (i.e. since 1973).

I’ve asked Mark to comb through our Chicago snow records which date back to the 1884-85 season. History often offers a guide to what can happen beyond this date.

What Mark’s found is most interesting and certainly underscores the notion it’s too early–despite the milder than normal pattern in place–to write off wintry weather.

Chicago has recorded at least one, and in some years more than one 3″ or greater snow beyond Feb 7 in 103 of 137 snow seasons. In other words, 73% of snow season’s have had a 3″ or greater snow.

6″ or more of snow have occurred in 39 of the past 137 seasons–that’s 28% of them.

And we’ve seen snows totaling 3″ or more in 2 of the past 137 seasons—-1.5% of them.

WHILE SNOW HAS MELTED OVER MUCH OF THE CHICAGO AREA, IT LINGERS ON THE GROUND NORTH AND NORTHWEST OF THE CITY. Mark offers the following summary of snow in the ground at 6am CST this (Tuesday) morning from COCRAHS volunteer observers reports:

  • Bull Valley 2.5 WNW 4.0
  • Elgin 2.5 W 3.0
  • Buffalo Grove 1.5 N 3.0
  • Lake Villa 2.3 WSW 2.0
  • Crystal Lake 1.0 WSW 2.0
  • Spring Grove 1.2 ESE 2.0
  • Elk Grove Village 2.2 WSW 1.5
  • Algonquin 1.4 WSW 1.0
  • Batavia 1.5 WNW 1.0
  • Riverwoods 0.4 ENE 1.0
  • Cary 0.3 NE 1.0
  • Mundelein 1.6 WNW 1.0
  • McHenry 2.4 E 1.0
  • Villa Park 0.8 ESE 0.5
  • Geneva 1.3 NW 0.5
  • Geneva 1.0 SSW 0.5

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

BY THE WAY: The national snow cover analysis from the National Weather Service which I’ve posted below indicates 34.9% of the Lower 48 has snow on the ground–down from a high of near 60% back on January 27th.