The latest blizzard to by-pass Chicago lambasted downstate Illinois and Indiana Wednesday, dropping as much as 18" of snow and unleashing wind gusts topping 40 mph which created white-out conditions.
Albion, in downstate Illinois, took top honors for the storm's heaviest snow reporting 18.3" while 14.5" fell at downstate Marion, IL . Other totals included 14" at Goreville, IL, 13" Mt. Carmel IL and 12" at Paragon, IN.
While the storm's gusty northeast winds were on full display in the Chicago area-topping 40 mph at Weather Bug and official National Weather Service observer sites at Frankfort, Hinsdale, East Chicago, Minooka, Glen Ellyn and Aurora-the strong flow did little to stoke the Lake Michigan snow machine. Only sporadic flurries fell here.
Dallas, Little Rock, Omaha and Indianapolis each have seasonal snow tallies to date which exceed Chicago's
In the upside down world of Winter 2012-13's weather, Chicago's 0.4" of seasonal snow is being beaten by the snow tallies in some unlikely places, including areas south and west of Chicago.
Among the cities topping the Windy City snow tally to date are: Denver, CO 12.4"; Little Rock, AR 10.3"; Indianapolis 9.5"; Omaha, NE 6.5" and Dallas, TX with 0.5".
It's Day 307 since city's last official inch of snow
Thursday marks the 307th consecutive day since the last inch or more of snow fell across the Chicago area. The last time it occurred was February 24, 2011 when 3.5" accumulated.
Lack of sub-32-degree daytime high this late in the season rare
The shortage of snow is just one of this cold season's meteorological anomalies. It's been 41 years-1971-since this area has moved as deeply into a new cold season without recording a single sub-32-degree temp.
Half of Chicago winters have even produced a 0 by now!
Here's an even more humbling thought. Nearly half of all cold seasons here-to be specific 60 of the past 142-have produced a 0-degree or lower temperature by now.
Despite Chicago's snow drought, Lower 48 snowpack has expanded 10-fold since Dec 6 covering 60+% of the country
Snow may be in short supply in Chicago, but it's not elsewhere. In fact, a NOAA analysis of how much of the Lower 48 sits beneath a veil of snow reveals an extraordinary 10-fold growth in the country's snowpack since Dec 6-from 6% of the Lower 48 to 61.4% in the latest measurement. The 61.4% figure is 223% more than the average snow cover observed across the 48 contiguous states over the past ten years.