Is a warm, practically snowless December a sign of what’s to come for winter ahead?
If you look back at the last winter season in Chicago, the answer is probably not.
Many in the city will remember that following the above-average end to 2018 came a brutal polar vortex that sent temps plumetting well-below zero. Not to mention the April that followed was snowier than the entire month of December.
So far, this month has been an average of 2.4 degrees warmer than normal, but with an even milder end on tap that number is expected to climb before the year is over. The 0.5 inches of snow reported at O’Hare Airport makes this the eighth least-snowiest December on record.
Last December, temperatures ended at 5.5 degrees above the average of 27.7 degrees and only 1.4 inches of snow was recorded.
But that was followed by three months of below-average temperatures and snow that continued well into spring, with 7.9 inches falling in April alone.
January 2019 was 2.8 degrees below the monthly average of 23.8 degrees, February was 1.8 degrees below-average and March was 3.6 degrees lower than normal.
Long-range predictions don’t show a major shift in temperatures or precipitation in the days ahead, but that could change in the New Year.
We’ll just have to wait and see.