Weather Updates

Mild winter close to becoming a record-breaker

Updated: December 28, 2012 2:35PM

Though a light blanket of snow covers parts of the area and there’s snow in the air Friday morning, the city’s lack of snow and cold this season is nearing all-time records. Cities such as Memphis, Oklahoma City and even Dallas have more snow than Chicago so far this winter, according to the National Weather Service.

Through Dec. 26, Chicago had 0.4 inches of snow, according to the weather service. By comparison, Dallas has had 0.5 inches, Oklahoma City 0.6 inches, and Memphis 0.9 inches. Chicago’s snow total is 7.9 inches below normal for this point in the year.

And other cities that typically expect snow in winter are well above Chicago so far, the weather service says. Madison, Wis. has had 20.8 inches of snow; Minneapolis has had 13.8 inches; Cleveland has had 10.1 inches; Indianapolis has had 9.7 inches, and Detroit has had 8.4 inches of snow.

The city’s streak of consecutive days without an inch of snowfall stands at 307, with the last 1-inch or greater snowfall back on Feb. 24. This year is so far ranked third and likely to move up in the rankings of days without at least an inch of snow. The record is 319, set on Jan. 6, 1940.

Some nearby suburbs have not been so lucky.

On Thursday night, a narrow band of lake effect snow dumped 5 inches on the north side of Evanston, while the south side of the suburb saw just 1/2 inch, according to a news alert from the city. No snow parking bans were issued because of this briefness storm, and all main roads were clear Friday morning. Work to remove snow from the side streets as begun and will continue all day Friday.

And the winter is not only mild in terms of snowfall. There has not been a single day this season that the high temperature has failed to reach the freezing mark in Chicago. This year now ranks No. 3 for the latest first sub-freezing high of the season, and could move up in the rankings, according to the weather service.

Chicago will break this record if our first high of 32 degrees or lower occurs on Jan. 2 or later. The record was set on Jan. 1, 1924.

Friday morning’s snowfall hasn’t amounted to much. As of about 11 a.m., two-tenths of an inch had fallen at Midway, while 0.7 inches had fallen in Bolingbrook, Rockford and Elk Grove Village. There was a bit more snow in northwest Indiana, with 1.3 inches reported in Crown Point and 2 inches in Valparaiso, the weather service said.

There is another chance of snow this afternoon, and accumulation could be around an inch, according to the weather service. Highs were expected to be in the lower 30s Friday and Saturday, with flurries Saturday morning.

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