Chicago Weather

Chicago Sees Winter's Worth of Snow in Weeks: Shocking Stats About the Recent Snowfall

Here are some statistics that put the recent winter weather into perspective

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

If you thought the last few weeks seemed like a lot of snow - you're not wrong.

And the data proves it. But it might not be as bad as you think.

Here are some statistics that put the recent winter weather into perspective.

Chicago Sees More Snow in Weeks Than City Typically Sees in An Entire Winter

Chicago has seen as much snow as it typically sees in an entire winter season in the last few weeks alone.

The city on average sees about 36 inches of snow in a winter, though some years have recorded more than 80 inches and others less than 10 inches.

But in the past 22 days, the city has seen 36.2 inches of snowfall.

As of Tuesday morning, O'Hare Airport had recorded 44.8 inches of snowfall for the season, 7.5 of which had fallen in the previous 24 hours.

From October through Jan. 26, the city had only seen a cumulative total of 8.6 inches of snowfall.

Since then, a number of major storms have hit the area.

City Nears Record for Most Consecutive Days of Measurable Snow

In fact, as of Tuesday, the city has seen nine straight days of measurable snowfall recorded at O'Hare Airport.

That ties the record for consecutive days with measurable snow in the city, which was set between Feb. 3-11 in 2018, according to the National Weather Service.

Should the city see at least .1 inches of snow fall Wednesday, a possibility as a weak system could bring small amounts to the area in the evening hours, a new record will be set.

Daily Snowfall Record Set for Feb. 15 in Chicago

Speaking of records, the city also set a daily snowfall record Monday.

According to the latest data, 6.1 inches of snow fell on Monday alone at O'Hare Airport, marking the most snow to ever fall on any Feb. 15 in history.

The last record was set on Feb. 15, 1903, when 5.2 inches were recorded.

February 2021 Snowfall Well Above Chicago's Average For the Month

If you thought this month seemed extra snowy, you aren't wrong.

As of Tuesday, 18” of snow had fallen in Chicago this month alone, well above the city's average for the month. Typically, Chicago sees an average of 9.1 inches of snow in a typical February.

Winter So Far is One of the Snowiest in Years for Chicago

With 44.8 inches of snow recorded as of Tuesday morning, the city has already seen one of its snowiest winters in the past several years.

Should those totals climb, the city could be well on its way to seeing its snowiest winter in at least five years.

Here's how much snow has fallen in the past five seasons:

  • 34.8 inches: 2019-2020
  • 49.5 inches: 2018-2019
  • 36.1 inches: 2017-2018
  • 26.1 inches: 2016-2017
  • 31.2 inches: 2015-2016

How Does This Winter Compare to Chicago's Snowiest Ever? It Doesn't

Still, Chicago is far from recording one of its snowiest winter seasons.

Though much snow has fallen in the past two weeks, Chicago is nowhere close to the city's snowiest winters.

Here are the Top 10 Chicago snowfalls of all time, according to the National Weather Service:

  • 89.7 inches: 1978-1979
  • 82.3 inches: 1977-1978
  • 82.0 inches: 2013-2014
  • 77.0 inches: 1969-1970
  • 68.4 inches: 1966-1967
  • 66.4 inches: 1951-1952
  • 64.1 inches: 1917-1918
  • 60.3 inches: 2007-2008
  • 59.5 inches: 1964-1965
  • 59.5 inches: 1903-1904
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