Increasingly, we’re hearing winter-weather-weary Chicagoans muttering, “When will this end?” and it’s no wonder. December ran 4 degrees below normal and January, as of the 21st, nearly 3 degrees below normal. And cumulative seasonal snowfall, also as of Jan. 21, was approaching 4 feet — 44.8 inches. That’s 260 percent of Chicago’s normal season-to-date snowfall (17.2 inches) and 122 percent of the city’s normal full-season total of 36.7 inches. In 130 years of official snowfall data, only two winters have had more snow through Jan. 21: 1951-52 with 54.0 inches and 1978-79 with 66.3 inches.
The current seven-day forecast cycle offers no relief: three periods of light snow (Wednesday, late Friday/early Saturday, Sunday) that, in total, might deliver 3-5 inches, and at least four days with subzero lows.