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

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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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