Has Chicago had more snow on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day? Has it evened out over time?
—John Albrecht, Lockport
They have not evened out, but the numbers are fairly close. Over the course of the city’s snow climatology which dates back to the winter of 1884-85, a total of 51.9 inches of snow has fallen on Christmas Day compared to 43.0 inches on New Year’s Day, including the 3.2 inches of snow that fell on January 1 this year. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski reports that neither holiday has had a super snowstorm with 5.1 inches in 1950, the most snow ever to fall on Christmas Day, while the snowiest New Year’s Day was in 1918 when 5.0 inches was logged. In terms of greatest snow depth, the holidays are tied with a 17-inch snowpack, 1951 for Christmas Day and 2001 for New Year’s Day.