ASK TOM WHY: What is the largest first measurable snowfall of the season to ever hit Chicago?

Dear Tom,

What is the largest first measurable snowfall of the season to ever hit Chicago?

Thanks,

Bruce Becker

Lake County IL Skywarn

 

Dear Bruce,

In most years, Chicago’s first measurable snow of the season is a minor event, usually totaling just a few tenths of an inch and not causing any problems. Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski checked the city’s snow archives dating back to 1884 and found that the city has logged 12 first measurable snowfalls of 3 inches or more. The largest was a 4.8 inch accumulation on November 15, 1940 that helped boost November, 1940 to the city’s snowiest November on record. The month ended with 14.8 inches of snow with the additional 10 inches falling from November 26-29. The 1940-41 snow season went on to produce a robust 52.5 inches, well above the city’s current 36.7 inch normal.

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