Friday’s first inch of snow sets 2 new records; arrives 56 days beyond the historic average first date

Friday’s 1.1” snowfall, paltry by January standards, fell in just five hours. It produced traffic troubles during the morning commute period far beyond those normally associated with such a limited amount of snow. It also set two new records and marked the largest single snowfall this season.

Its arrival brought to an unceremonious end a 335-day period completely void of 1” snows, setting a record in the process. Previous to this, the lack of a 1” or greater snow over a 319-day period ending January 6, 1940 had been the benchmark.
Friday’s snow also set January 25 as the new record for Chicago latest-occurring first 1” of snow.



Developing storm to tug “warmth” and moisture up and over cold ground level air, a set-up expected to produce freezing rain and icing.



Big weather changes lie ahead, including the potential for a wintry cocktail of precipitation, including freezing rain and possible sleet.  Also in store is a temperature surge early next week which could bring 50s to Chicago Tuesday followed by a temperature dive which could rival last week’s. The plunge is likely to hit hard the middle of the coming week.
By the time the books close on January and open on February this coming Thursday and Friday, the Chicago area is to be immersed in an intense new outbreak of arctic air.



Huge area of Midwest in line for icing Sunday and Sunday night



Northward streaming moist Gulf air is at the basis of forecasts of an expansive swath of freezing precipitation, predicted to develop Saturday night in the western Midwest then to reach Chicago Sunday afternoon into Sunday night.
Precisely how long rain falls into sub-freezing pool of air at the surface will determine the severity of the icing which results.
Rising temperatures Sunday night are likely to take readings above freezing in all but far north suburban locations, shifting precipitation to rain.
A significant band of accumulating snow is to develop in the deeper pool of cold air expected to dominate areas north in Wisconsin and Michigan.



Storm’s path into Midwest could bring “warm sector” temp surge to Chicago by Tuesday



Perhaps most intriguing is the suggestion by a number of models that a storm is to lift from Colorado into Wisconsin and Michigan between Sunday and Tuesday.  The southerly winds on this system’s south side could be enough to bring a surge of unseasonably mild air into the Chicago area Tuesday.  Arriving with the warmth will be significant moisture, the basis for impressive precipitation totals—even the chance for thunderstorms.



Model forecasts of the heaviest precipitation in a month welcome across the moisture-starved Midwest



A suite of computer models is generating Chicago 7-day rainfall estimates ranging from as little as 0.74” to as much as 1.95”. These number suggest the area may be in for its most impressive precipitation tally in a month.
Interestingly, preliminary forecasts of the atmosphere’s structure here Tuesday suggests gusty thunderstorms may flare capable of impressive downpours.



Another bitter arctic blast hits later next week, in time for February 2013 arrival on Friday



A bitter arctic outbreak roars back into the area with falling temperatures Wednesday.  Bone-chilling and possible single digit if not sub-zero lows are likely over sections of the Chicago area in the Wednesday through next Saturday time frame—a huge change from what could be late-March-level “warmth” Tuesday.



It’s the 46th anniversary of Chicago’s worst snowstorm, the infamous “Blizzard of 1967”



Who can forget what happened 46 years ago? The storm has no peer in Chicago weather history.  For 29 wind-whipped hours, which included intense snowfall responsible for completely closing area thoroughfares, Chicago sat crippled.
Northeast winds, gusting to 53 mph and responsible for whipping the storm’s 23” of snow into 4 to 6 foot drifts produced a blizzard, the likes of which the city had never before seen.
The January 26-27, 1967 storm followed by just two days 60+-degree temps and gusty thunderstorms, which across some of the city’s southwest suburbs, produced reports of funnels.

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