Video: Lee Carlaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chicago joins “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the near-record snow drought. (Produced by Blair Paddock)
Chicago is tantalizingly close to finishing out the year with no measurable snow having fallen in the latter half of 2021. If that happens, the city will have set a new record for the longest streak of snow-free days since 1884, when record keeping began.
But close only counts in horseshoes.
Though Chicago has, as of Monday, gone 287 days without accumulation, the National Weather Service is forecasting a "burst of wet snow" on Tuesday and a chance of light snow on Wednesday.
If a tenth of an inch of the white stuff falls at O'Hare — Chicago's official weather site — the no-snow record will remain the 290 days notched in 2012.
Typically the gauge at O’Hare measures Chicago's first snow by Nov. 18. In 2021, the city not only blew past that benchmark, but the winter solstice too, seeing its first ever astronomical fall with no snow accumulation.
Mother Nature has made up for the lack of snow with all kinds of weirdness, including thunderstorms and hail Sunday night into Monday morning, causing weather service meteorologists to check their calendars, tongue in cheek, on social media.
Yep, it's December.
Four-day outlook for the shortened work week includes potential for travel impacts on Tuesday due to a burst of wet snow changing to rain & travel impacts also psbl Wed. night due to light snow accums, w/ice accum psbl south of I-80. #ilwx #inwx pic.twitter.com/fe3b8dYdc2
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) December 27, 2021