Chicagoans, in the midst of the least snowy season of any over the past 129 years, are to add still another "low-snowfall" record to an expanding list. The area is about to blow past the latest date on record which has failed to log a single 1" or greater snow so late in the season.
The record was first established on this date 114 years ago in 1899. With no snow of substance in sight over the next few days, that record is to be tied Thursday and broken Friday, Jan.18.
Winter 2012-13 running 11th mildest and least snowy on record
By any measure, meteorological winter 2012-13 is one for the books. Its 33.4-degree average temperature since Dec. 1 sits 6.1-degrees above the season's 142 year average. 85% of its days have registered a temperature surplus. This comes on the heels of Chicago's warmest year on record in 2012.
The season's abysmal 1.3" snowfall is the unchallenged leader as the lowest seasonal tally since records of area snowfall began in the 1884-85 cold season.
Windy transition back to milder Pacific air Friday and Saturday precedes sharpest cold punch of the season
Powerful west to southwest winds on the south side of a fast moving Alberta-Clipper-type system predicted to pass to Chicago's north Friday into Saturday promises to keep Thursday's incursion of arctic air short-lived. These winds with a maritime origin are to send temperatures into the low 40s Friday and to 40 Saturday.
Bitterly cold Siberian Express pattern to follow
A full-blown, cross-polar jet stream, sweeping from Russia’s Siberia region across the North Pole into Canada and plunging southward into the Midwest, is all but assured to give the area direct access to the Chicago area's coldest air of the season and potentially its coldest readings in just under 2 years.
Measurable snow’s fallen only five times this season; models hint at Sunday night dusting and possible Tuesday snow system
A snowfall of 0.1" (defined as "measurable"), has fallen only 5 times to date this season and the greatest single official snowfall in the city has been just 0.4" at O'Hare.
Snowfall could pick up a bit, suggest a number of models, as a series of disturbances sweep across the Lower 48 on the southern flank of the cold arctic air predicted to sag into the Lower 48 later this weekend into next week.
One such disturbance traverses the Chicago area Tuesday---potentially this area's best chance of some sticking snow over the coming week.
Historically, 56% of Chicago's snow has fallen beyond this date
Chicago weather history is clear. More than half (56%) of the city’s snow has traditionally fallen beyond Jan. 17.
Mid-Appalachian region and upper Midwest brace for snow systems
Warnings for heavy snow are out across the mid-Appalachian region Thursday while snowfall on the incoming Alberta Clipper's northernmost flank is to fall across the Upper Midwest.