Was Lake Michigan’s water temperature very warm in 1967 prior to that huge snowstorm?

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Dear Tom,

Wasn’t Lake Michigan’s water temperature very warm in 1967 prior to that huge snowstorm?

—Kevin S., Chicago

Dear Kevin,Actually it wasn’t. The Chicago area Lake Michigan water temperature hovered around 32 for nearly all of January. The “Big Snow” was not a lake-effect event, but a blizzard produced by an intense low-pressure system passing through the Ohio Valley. However, the city’s snow totals were enhanced, buoyed by the persistent flow off the lake. The heaviest snow fell in the central portions of the Chicago metro from the western suburbs east into northwest Indiana. Officially, Midway logged 23.0 inches with 20.4 inches at O’Hare, 18 inches at Aurora, and 23 inches at Park Forest. Snowfall was even heavier in northwest Indiana with 24.9 inches at Valparaiso and 26.5 inches at LaPorte.

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