Dear Tom,

I just moved to Chicago from Atlanta, and everyone has been warning me about the snowy winters. What can I expect?

Thanks, Colleen Richardson

Dear Colleen,

The city’s normal seasonal snowfall based on the latest 30-year period from 1991-2020 stands at 38.4 inches. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski checked the archives and using the city’s snowfall data dating back to the winter of 1884-85 the seasonal totals have ranged from a low of 9.8 inches in the winter of 1920-21 to a maximum of 89.7 inches in the benchmark snow winter of 1978-79. The city’s last very snowy winter was in 2013-14 when 82.0 inches fell. The most recent “low-snow” winter was in 2011-12 when only 19.8 inches fell. In a typical winter season, the city gets at least one or two heavy snowstorms with snowfall totals in excess of six inches.