ASK TOM WHY: Didn't we have a big snowstorm less than a month after a very warm open to December, 1998?

Dear Tom,

 

You mentioned that December, 1998 opened very warm. Didn’t we have a big snowstorm less than a month later.

 

Thanks,
Grant Faems,
Tinley Park
 

Dear Grant,

 

You are absolutely correct. December, 1998 opened spectacularly mild with a high of 57 on December 1 followed by a six-day run of highs in the 60s peaking on December 3-4 with highs of 67 and 66. Two cold spells followed late in the month, one before Christmas and the other before the New Year with a low of 1 above on December 30. Any remaining memories of the early-December warmth were quickly eradicated when the city was rocked by its second biggest snowstorm in history, a 21.6 inch affair from January 1-3, 1999. The winter of 1998-99 went on to produce a robust 50.9 inches of snow including a six-day late-season snow blitz from March 5-10 when 18.2 inches fell.

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