The coldest air of the season ushers in the new year, and that's in sharp contrast to the year we have just left behind. Officially, 2012 enters the record books as the mildest year in 142 years (1871-2012) of Chicago weather history. With an average temperature of 54.5 degrees, 2012 surpassed the previous record of 54.4 degrees registered in 1921. Tuesday's high temperature, 20 degrees, will be the city's lowest maximum temperature in nearly 11 months (since 20 degrees on Feb. 11, 2012).
And Chicago's "snow drought" continues. Other than the possibility of flurries, the seven-day forecast cycle offers no hope for significant snow.
The weather pattern is "progressive," with weak weather disturbances moving quickly, one after another, from the northwest, each introducing more dry air and each effectively preventing the return of Gulf moisture.