Thursday’s storm produced 19.5″ of snow just 128 miles northwest of Chicago’s Loop and 119 miles from the foot or more of snow which fell in Lena in northwest Illinois’ Stephanson County. The snow cover over the Lower 48 has grown by more than 7 times in the past two weeks—from 6% on Dec 6 to the 43.5% reported today by NOAA.
Chicago’s 290 day run without measurable snowfall ended at O’Hare Thursday evening at 6:30 pm. It also produced the latest first measurable snowfall on the record books—replacing the previous record of Dec 16 with Thursday’s date: Dec 16! The mammoth storm, behind Thursday evening’s snowy spells and the winds sweeping the Chicago area, was the system behind weather watches and warnings in effect across sections of 39 states earlier today!