Will a record be set for the least snow in December in Chicago?

Ask Tom Why

Dear Tom,

Am I correct that a record will be set for the least snow in December in Chicago?

Thanks,
Michael Cohn

Dear Michael,

Through December 27, this month has produced just 0.5 inches of snow, but even if that turns out to be the month’s final total, it would not be record low total. Citing December snowfall records dating back to 1884, Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski noted that this month’s meager snowfall would only tie 1939 for the city’s eighth least snowy December. Wachowski found three Decembers-2014, 1912, and 1889 that produced just a trace, 1943 with 0.1 inches, 1971 and 1906 with 0.3 inches and 1986 with 0.4 inches. In sharp contrast, three Decembers have delivered more than 30 inches of snow- 1951 33.3 inches, 1978 31.4 inches and 2000 30.9 inches. Unofficially Midway airport received 41.3 inches in December 2000.

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