ASK TOM: Chicago's first snowfall

Dear Tom,

When does Chicago usually see its first snow fall? Might we see some snow in November this year?

Anastasios B., Park Ridge


Dear Anastasios,


Chicago’s snow season is rapidly approaching. On average, the city receives its first snowflakes around Halloween, its first measurable snow in mid-November and first inch around December 1.


Snow in November is almost a certainty in Chicago. Only two Novembers, 1999 and 2001, have been snow-free since snowfall records began in 1884. The city’s snowiest November was in 1951, when 14.3 inches fell, most of it in the first seven days of the month. The city was hit with 4.4 inches on Nov. 3, followed by a snow storm of 9.3 inches on Nov. 6-7. Chicago’s most recent substantial November snowfall was in 2004: 4.3 inches on Thanksgiving Eve.

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