Most of you have noticed the lack of snow this year. After a record warm winter last year, this winter is setting even MORE records. Totalling just 0.9 of an inch of snow officially at O'Hare, we are off to a record slow start. The last time we saw an inch of snow was 314 days ago (February 24th, 2012). If by this Saturday snow does not fall, we will have broken the all time longest stretch of days without an inch of snow. To Paraphrase from the National Weather Service in Chicago (http://www.weather.gov/chicago) .....
"Chicago has yet to have any meaningful cold or snow so far this winter, and it's beginning to approach the point where it's not just highly unusual, but actually record breaking. Through December 31th, there has not been a single day this season that the high temperature has failed to reach the freezing mark. This year is now tied for the latest first sub-freezing high of the season ever. Chicago is also in the midst of a record-tying stretch of consecutive days without a sub-freezing high temperature
In 2012 there were 354 days with high temperatures at or above freezing in Chicago, which ranks as the 2nd greatest number of days in a year with highs at or above freezing and just 1 day short of the all time record number of days!
While a few areas in the city have seen a bit more snow, officially Chicago has only picked up 0.9" through December 31st and has yet to have a calendar day this season with at least an inch of snow. Currently, the streak of consecutive days without an inch of snowfall stands at 311, with the last 1" or greater calendar day snowfall back on February 24th. This now ranks as 3rd place on the top 5 list. In order to break this record, the first calendar day snowfall of 1" would have to be Jan 9th or later.
While the stretch of days without an inch of snow grows, we are also marching up the rankings for the latest first 1 inch snowfall of the season for Chicago. Currently this season is ranked number 11, but based on the forecast for the rest of the week the 2012-13 season is likely to break into the top 10 in the next few days. This record would be broken if first 1" calendar day snowfall does not occur by Jan 17th.
Calendar day snowfall records of an inch or greater, while impressive, do not account for snow that may cross the calendar day and add up to an inch. Looking at the number of consecutive days without a snow depth measured of at least 1" really tells the story of just how unusual it is for Chicago to go this long without the ground being covered in at least an inch of snow. Through December 30th, it has been 308 days since Chicago has officially had an inch of snow on the ground, making this the 2nd longest stretch of its kind on record in Chicago. In order to break this record, the first day of the season with a 1" snow depth would have to be Jan 5th or later.
Through January 1st, Chicago has only picked up 0.9" of snow for the season. This now ranks as the 4th latest (and still counting) that Chicago has made it into the year without having even picked up an inch total of snowfall. This record would be broken if Chicago does not get any measurable snowfall until Jan 9th."
Looking down the line, the forecast only looks to get warmer. A ridge will build across the Central U.S and warm air will flood the local region with temperatures at or near 50 degrees by early next week. At this time there does not seem like there is an appreciable threat of snow or accumulations.