Another Chicago snow record could fall Monday

Snow flurries are forecast Monday – perhaps covering the ground north of Chicago in Lake and McHenry Counties – with flurries diminishing to the south. When considering just 0.1 inch of snow, it is very chancy, but indications are that the snowfall over Chicago and at the official O’Hare observing site will just be a trace. If that is the case, we will set a new record, 281 consecutive days this year without a measureable (0.1-inch) snowfall, and that record could be extended several days with no snow in sight at least for the remainder of the week ahead. Another Chicago snow record could then be poised to fall – the latest in the season for a measurable snowfall – December 16th, set back in 1965.


Winter storm to the north


Northeast Illinois, the southeast corner of Wisconsin and northwest Indiana experienced a steady cold rain and drizzle Sunday as a center of low pressure heading northeast passed just south of Chicago. To our north and northwest, however, it was another story. Rain changed to snow just south of Madison, Wisconsin and from that point on to the north and west, snow increased – reaching a foot and a half in Minnesota just to the north and west of Minneapolis. The 10.2 inches of snow at Minneapolis and 10.8 inches at St. Cloud were records at those locations for December 9th. Blizzard conditions prevailed over west-central Minnesota into South Dakota with 50-mile-per-hour winds drifting roads shut and creating whiteout conditions. Three to six-inch snows extended east into northern Lower Michigan.


Severe storms to the south


Along and ahead of the cold front associated with the low pressure system, tornado and severe thunderstorm watches were issued for portions of Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Two damaging tornadoes touched down in northeastern Arkansas. Severe thunderstorms warnings were issued and heavy downpours set the stage for flash-flooding at many other locations in these watch areas.


Midweek warm-up here


The southern edge of cold air will pass over Chicago later Monday night and early Tuesday with southerly winds returning on Wednesday as the upper-level jet stream flow pattern becomes more westerly. Daily high temperatures should warm into the 40s from Wednesday on with the next major low pressure system set to bring more rain here next weekend.

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