Record-low temperature in 20s could follow late-season snow
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE April 14, 2014 9:38PM
A steady rain poured on commuters as they dodged puddles and hurried through the cold and rainy weather in downtown Chicago near Lake and Clark. | Al Podgorski / Chicago Sun-Times.
Updated: May 16, 2014 6:42AM
A mid-April snowfall that drew a collective sigh from Chicagoans late Monday afternoon was the precursor to some potentially record-breaking cold temperatures on Tuesday morning.
The snow that started Monday evening dropped a total 1.4 inches until 1 a.m. Tuesday at O’Hare International Airport, bringing the year’s snow total to 82 inches, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein.
April accumulation is nothing new in Chicago; more than half an inch fell on April 18, 2011. But Tuesday’s low temperature could plummet below 25 degrees, which would beat the record low for April 15, set in 1943, according to the weather service.
The temperature was 26 degrees at O’Hare International Airport about 7 a.m., Friedlein said.
Roadways could still be icy Tuesday morning after Monday’s snowfall, and with the low temperature, it’s unlikely that streets will become less slick, according to the weather service.
Icy roads caused a nine-vehicle crash on the inbound Dan Ryan near 47th Street Tuesday morning around 4:15 a.m., injuring at least four people, authorities said.
The city will see the temperature cap off at 40 degrees Tuesday, with a low at 32 degrees, according to the weather service.
Although it comes close, any additional snow accumulation likely won’t move the 2013-2014 period up from the third to second-snowiest year on record in Chicago, the weather service said.
No more snow is expected in the next week, and as April passes, snowfall becomes less likely, the weather service said.
The second-snowiest period — 82.3 inches in 1976-77 — is still within striking distance, but the 89.7 inches that piled up in the 1978-79 season is probably a stretch, according to the weather service.
But Chicagoans shouldn’t be completely optimistic.
“You never say never with this winter,” Friedlein said.
The latest that a measurable accumulation of snow has fallen in Chicago is May 11, when about a third of an inch fell in the city on a dreary day in 1966, according to the weather service.
Barring any changes, Wednesday temperatures should start to edge closer to the seasonal average high of 58, according to the weather service.