Chicago Avoids Second Big Winter Storm

Windy City looking toward breaking new record of days above the freezing mark

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:53 PM CDT
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Some travelers passing through O'Hare and Midway got an extended stay in the Windy City. Anthony Ponce reports.

Some travelers passing through O'Hare and Midway got an extended stay in the Windy City. Anthony Ponce reports.

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Despite a bit of unexpected Christmas Day snow, it appears the Chicago area has avoided a major snowstorm for the second time this season.

A powerful storm system that erupted Tuesday blanketed the nation's midsection with snow and headed for the Northeast on Wednesday, spreading blizzard conditions that slowed holiday travel.

The death toll rose to six with car accidents on snow and sleet-slickened highways in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

But Chicago saw none of that. Instead, the Windy City was just cold and, well, windy.

Wednesday's temperatures were in the low- to mid-30s, continuing a near record-breaking trend of days above the freezing mark.

According to the National Weather Service, there have been 349 days with high temperatures at or above freezing in Chicago, which currently ranks as the third greatest number of days in a year with highs at or above freezing.

If the streak extends past December 30, a new record will be set.

Last week, temperatures remained too warm for a storm system to dump several inches of snow on the Chicago area. Instead, most of the city saw little more than wet pavement.

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