While we’re nearly a month into spring, many Chicago area residents may think that we are well past the time when snow could loom as a threat in the forecast, but history tells us that the month of April can still bring wintry weather to the region.
In fact, the latest snowfalls recorded in the Chicago area haven’t occurred in the month of April, but rather in the month of May, even with summer rapidly approaching.
According to records kept by the National Weather Service, the latest recorded instance of one or more inches of snow falling in the city occurred on May 3-4 all the way back in 1907. Fortunately for area residents, the normal final snowfall of that type of accumulation occurs around March 20.
When it comes to accumulating snow, defined by the NWS as 0.1 or more inches, that typically occurs later in the year. The normal final date for an accumulating snowfall occurs on April 2, but the latest such snowfall to occur in the city actually happened on May 11, 1966.
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As for the final trace of snow, that occurs even later still. The typical final day that snowflakes fly in the city of Chicago occurs on April 14. The latest final trace snowfall that the city has ever recorded occurred on May 25, 1924, less than one month ahead of the summer solstice.
As of April 11, the latest measurable snowfall that the city received occurred on April 2, while the last trace snowfall was recorded on April 9.
The last snowfall of at least one inch occurred on March 7, when 2.9 inches of snow fell at O’Hare.