Dear Tom,

I don’t usually think about snow in Chicago until November, how often does it snow in October?

Vivian Costello

Dear Vivian,

Since the start of the city’s snow records in fall of 1884, the city has recorded at least a trace of snow in about half of all Octobers. The average date of the season’s first trace of snow is October 30, and the current 1991-2020 October snowfall normal is 0.2 inches. While the vast majority of the October snowfalls amount to just a trace, measurable snow has been observed in 18 years, most recently, 4.6 inches on October 30-31, 2019, the city’s second snowiest October; surpassed only by 1989 when 6.3 inches fell. Since 2000, measurable October snowfall has occurred three times, 0.3 inches on October 12, 2006, the city’s earliest measurable snow, 0.1 inches in 2014, and the 4.6 inches in 2019.