ASK TOM WHY: What would it take give Chicago its worst blizzard, like the one that just hit New England with more than 3 feet of snow?

Dear Tom,

 

What would it take give Chicago its worst blizzard, like the one that just hit New England with more than 3 feet of snow?

 

Paul Crimo, Highwood

 
Dear Paul,

 

Chicago has been hit by some severe winter storms, but our greatest single-storm snowfall is 23 inches in the Jan. 26-27, 1967 “Big Snow.”

 

The city’s worst winter storms share characteristics, including rapidly intensifying low pressure moving northeast through the Ohio Valley, high pressure to the north feeding in cold, dry air and southerly winds delivering an ample supply of Gulf moisture.

 

That combination has delivered blizzard conditions with 70 mph winds and about 2 feet of snow.

 

A key feature for an additional foot of snow would be a slowing of the storm.

 

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