Overnight snowfall reports

Snow, the first of two or three rounds, rolled into Chicago Monday evening and ended around Midnight with snowfall totals ranging from 0.3″ to 1.5″. The second wave of snow is expected to be much more substantial, starting this afternoon and lasting into at least New Years morning.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted by the National Weather Service for most of the Chicago area. The advisory runs from 2PM this afternoon until 10AM Wednesday morning.

Here are a few of the snowfall totals reported to the WGN Weather Center:


1.5″ Minooka

1.5″ New Lenox

1.5″ Chesterton

1.4″ Morris

1.2″ Bourbonnais

1.2″ Crown Point

1.0″ Palos Park

1.0″ Chicago- Midway

1.0″ Vaparaiso, IN

0.9″ Romeoville

0.8″ Kankakee

0.7″ Batavia

0.6″ North Aurora

0.7″ Countryside

0.7″ Elburn

0.5″ Elgin

0.5″ Chicago- O’Hare

0.4″ Beach Park

0.3″ Highland Park

0.3″ McHenry

Long-duration snow event gets underway by New Year’s Eve; snowfall to arrive in waves into Thursday

It’s not to hit in a single, wind-driven blast, as has happened in so many Chicago snows. Instead, Chicago’s latest bout of snowy weather is to arrive in waves distributed over a time frame likely to extend into Thursday.
Over time, each of these snowy accumulations is likely to add up, particularly in lakeside counties where the resurgence of frigid arctic air is predicted to activate the “lake-snow-machine”, particularly from Wednesday afternoon forward—a development which may well contribute additional inches of snowfall to the tallies recorded in lakeside counties.

Snowfall estimates reach 1-3″ by midnight New Year’s Eve (Tuesday night); 3 to 5” by Wednesday morning and could top 10” by Thursday afternoon in a few harder hit lakeside counties

New Year’s Eve 2013 is to be a snowy one and care is recommended if you’re planning to head out. But, the bulk of the snow predicted to fall in coming days is to occur beyond New Year’s Eve. And, while snowfall may even pause at times in the days ahead, any breaks in the snow are unlikely to last.
As east winds back northeasterly, the distance they travel over lake water—and, therefore, the amount of moisture which can be expected to be added to this snow system’s tally—is to increase.
It’s estimated the 1 to 3” predicted to have fallen by midnight New Year’s Eve and the 3 to 5” projected to be down by Wednesday morning may build into a few 10”+ tallies, especially in areas with access to lake moisture. Sections of lakeside counties in northeast Illinois, southeast Wisconsin and northwest Indiana stand to see the heaviest snow totals.

This season has recorded 13 times the snow which had fallen a year ago; nearly a foot is on the books

With 11.9” already on the books for the 2013-14 season, snowfall is running at a pace 13 times greater than the paltry 0.9” on the books just a year ago. It’s also at 123% the normal of 9.7” to date.

Monday’s 13-degree high was the season’s coldest yet; only one day ALL last winter was colder

It was cold Monday—VERY cold! In fact, the day’s 13-deg high was the chilliest on the books to date this season. And, interestingly, only one day ALL of last winter produced a colder high temp—the 11-degree high recorded last Jan 22.
But chilly as Monday’s 13-degrees was, it paled in comparison to the 40-below min temp recorded Monday at Embarrass, MN.
Thirty other weather observation sites in Minnesota recorded Monday morning lows of 30-below and colder!
Among the colder Minnesota morning lows Monday were 37-below at International Falls; 23 below at St. Cloud and 21 below at Duluth.

The clock’s ticking on a December 12.5-degrees colder than a year ago

This month’s average temperature of 23.9-degrees to date makes it the coldest December in 3 years. The month will close midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning having averaged an eye-catching 12.5-degrees colder than a year ago.

Light snow has begun across the Chicago Metro area…Expect minor accumulations tonight

Lowest visibilities indicate areas of heaviest snow

Lowest visibilities indicate areas of heaviest snow

At 7pm light snow had begun across much of the Chicago Metro area. The snowfall was light with the lowest visibilities ranging from about 1 1/4 miles at Pontiac and Peru to 2 miles at Midway to 4 miles at O’Hare. With  temperatures in the teens and single digits untreated and lesser traveled roads could get slippery. The snow is expected to end shortly after midnight with total accumulations of an inch or less.

Light snow to move through the area tonight… but a more significant snowstorm begins on New Year’s Eve

A fast-moving clipper system will bring a quick shot of light snow to the Chicago area early tonight. Amounts are expected to be on the light side, generally an inch or less but with cold temperatures slick spots could develop on area roadways, especially lesser traveled and untreated ones.

The snow will end after midnight as skies clear and some sunshine will grace the city Tuesday morning. However, clouds will roll in during the afternoon setting the stage for a long-duration snow that will begin on New Year’s Eve and continue through much of New Year’s Day before winding down as a lake-snow event on Thursday, January 2. Snowfall totals could be substantial by the time the system moves out and latest model runs suggest many areas could get as much as 6-10 inches. Because of the low temperatures, the snow will be light and fluffy with a snow/water ratio in the neighborhood of 15-17:1
(15-17 inches of snow /inch of liquid water equivalent) instead of the typical 10:1 snow/water ratio.

Here are some snow totals tonight’s incoming snow has produced in Iowa
Olin 1.3″
Dubuque 0.6″
Vinton 0.8″
Toddville 1.5″
Davenport 0.4″
What Cheer 1.5″
Shellsburg 2.0″
Cedar Rapids 1.7″

ASK TOM WHY: New Year’s Eve 1984 with 8 inches of snow in Lake Forest

Dear Tom,

I remember a very significant snowstorm on New Year’s Eve in 1984 with about 8 inches of snow in Lake Forest, but I can’t recall the exact details.

Thanks, Curt Swatkiewicz

Dear Curt,

With employed Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski to check the record books and he verified your memories of a very snowy New Year’s Eve. Dec. 31 actually started out chilly and rainy, but by late afternoon the rain changed over to snow and began to accumulate. By midnight, the city had officially logged 3.2”, but the snow continued well into New year’s Day with another 4.3” accumulating, bringing the storm total to a healthy 7.5 inches. New Year’s Day was cold and blustery as temperatures tumbled from 32 degrees just after midnight to 10 by late evening as an arctic blast followed in the wake of the snow.