Dear Tom,

This season we had a “White Christmas”, but a “brown New Years. How often has this happened?
Adam Krueger  Wheaton

Dear Adam,

We had our resident climatologist Frank Wachowski check this out and he found that it has happened far more often than you might think. Checking 139 occurrences dating back to the winter of 1884-85, Wachowski identified 27 instances where the city logged at least one inch of snow cover on Christmas and a trace or less on New year’s Day, which equates to just shy of 20 percent of the time. Prior to this season, when the city logged one inch of snow on Christmas and none on January 1, the previous occurrence was during the 2016-17 holiday period, with a two-inch snow cover on Christmas and bare ground on New Year’s Day. The most dramatic instance was during the 1929-30 holiday period when a 10-inch Christmas Day snow cover completely disappeared by January 1, in the wake of a week of above-freezing temperatures.