chicago snowfall

Chicago's Lack of Snowfall Is Already Historic, Could Soon Break Record

Anyone miss scraping snow off your windshield?

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Chicago's lack of snowfall will already go down in the history books, but if things continue as they have, a record could soon be broken.

After Thursday saw no measurable snowfall and the area continues to wait for the season's first snow, the delay has now become the second-latest first snowfall since the National Weather Service began keeping records of the event in 1909.

Despite a forecast that includes a rain-snow mix Friday evening, it doesn't appear any measurable snow will arrive any time soon, though it all hinges on what happens over the next 24 hours.

The Chicago area traditionally sees its first snowfall in mid-November. According to the National Weather Service, the average date for the city of Chicago’s first measurable snowfall, defined as receiving at least one-tenth of an inch of snow, is Nov. 18.

This year, the city blew by that date, despite having several days of frigid weather and multiple instances of precipitation, and is now approaching the latest “first snowfall” that it has ever seen.

The focus now turns to Dec. 20, which is the current record holder for latest first snowfall. That mark was set in 2012, and the city of Chicago could very well challenge that mark this year.

According to the NBC 5 Storm Team, snow showers are possible Saturday morning in the Chicago area, which could potentially deny the city the all-time record just two days before reaching that milestone.

Little to no accumulation is expected in the system, but light snow accumulations are possible north and west of the city with mainly rain expected south.

If snow doesn’t fall, then the record will likely be broken, as the city is forecasted to remain dry through at least Christmas Day, according to current models.

As we wait with breathless anticipation to see if the record will fall, here are some fun facts about snow in Chicago.

What's Chicago's Average Snowfall for an Entire Season?

The 30-year average for snow for Chicago is currently 38.4 inches for a winter season.

Chicago's Earliest First Measurable Snowfall

According to the National Weather Service in Chicago, the earliest first measurable snowfall in the city was Oct. 16, 2006.

Latest Measurable Snowfalls in The Chicago Area, Dating Back to 1909

  • Dec. 20, 2012
  • Dec. 16, 1965
  • Dec. 14, 2001
  • Dec. 12, 2003
  • Dec. 10, 2003
  • Dec. 9, 2011
  • Dec. 9, 1948
  • Dec. 7, 1914
  • Dec. 6, 1994
  • Dec. 5, 1984
  • Dec. 5, 1944
  • Dec. 5 1909
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