Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chicago Sets An Odd Winter Record

Runners enjoy warm, snow-free weather along Chicago's lake
front in February. Photo by Alyssa Painter/Chicago Tribune 
I've always thought of Chicago in the winter as Buffalo Lite

Winters are tough there, maybe not as tough as lake effect snow, very windy, very cold Buffalo, New York, but Chicago is not exactly a tropical resort.

Icy winds blast down the concrete canyons of the Loop. Frigid lake effect snows smother the Lake Michigan shore if the winds are right.

Big Middle American storms dump tons of snow on Chicago throughout the winter. Canada sends regular supplies of Arctic Air to chill the hardiest of big shouldered Chicagoans.

Not this year.  For the first time on record, there was no snow on the ground for the entire months of January and February.  Records in Chicago go back to at least 1884.

Oh, there were light snows and flurries from time to time during the winter, but nothing to get excited about, that's for sure.

The odd lack of snow has people in the Windy City a bit freaked out.

"I went out and played in the park with just like a fleece on instead of a winter jacket. It felt good, but it was just the feeling of you know something is wrong," Hannah Hampson, 10, told NPR.

It finally snowed Saturday morning, sort of, in Chicago. O'Hare Airport recorded a whopping 0.1 on an inch, which promptly melted, continuing the snow drought. It's now been 77 days since the last time Chicago got an inch of snow in one day.

It's still possible Chicago will get nailed by a snowstorm before spring really gets here. However, for the next week or so, Chicago can expect occasional bouts of rain, but no snow.

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