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Chicago breaks record with 281 snow-free days. White Christmas? Keep dreaming.

Updated: January 12, 2013 6:24AM



Winter may be coming, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

In addition to unseasonably balmy temperatures, Chicago has gone a record 281 consecutive days without a measurable amount of snow, from March 4 until Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record for snow-free days was 280, set back in 1994.

If the pattern holds through the rest of the month, it could be a harbinger of what winter — which officially starts on Dec. 21 — could bring.

“It’s tough to say yet if this is a predictor of the whole winter, but if we finish out all of December like this, then it would be more telling,” said Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist for the weather service who is based in Romeoville.

What’s more, Friedlein said, the daily high temperature hasn’t yet dropped below freezing.

On average, Chicagoans usually see only 226 snowless days between spring and winter, making this year’s snow drought unusual, Freidlein said early Tuesday.

“In the next seven days, it looks like we’re going to remain average to above-average temperature-wise,” weather service meteorologist Dino Izzi said Monday night. “There’s no real good threats of snow in the forecast.”

And if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas?

Keep dreaming.

Though forecasters haven’t ruled out the possibility of snow later in December, longer-term climate forecasts through Christmas Eve predict that above-average temperatures will continue.

If the snow drought holds out, still other weather records could fall.

“December 16th is the latest we’ve ever gone into the year without having seen measurable snowfall,” Izzi said. “It’s looking pretty likely we might break that or come pretty darn close.”



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