ASK TOM: How many Chicago snowstorms have produced more snow than fell all of last winter?

Dear Tom,

How many Chicago snowstorms have produced more snow than fell all of last winter?

-Greg Johnson, Grayslake
Dear Greg, Snowfall in Chicago has indeed been a scare commodity recently with just 19.8 inches falling all of last winter. Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski reports that since dating back to the winter of 1884-85 the city has been hit by four snowstorms that delivered more snow than the entire winter of 2011-12. Leading the pack is Chicago’ infamous “Big Snow” that dumped 23.0 inches on Jan. 26-27, 1967, with the runner-up being Jan. 1-3, 1999 — the New Year’s snowstorm that brought 21.6 inches a close second. The city’s two other storms with more snow than last winter were the Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2011, Groundhog Day Blizzard with 21.2 inches of snow, and the 20.3 inch Blizzard of ’79 that paralyzed the city on Jan. 12-14, 1979.