Hammering Snowfall Still Eyes Minneapolis, Chicago this Winter

December 4, 2011; 6:20 AM ET
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Big Midwestern cities such as Minneapolis and Chicago are still expected to have the worst of winter with clobbering, above-normal snowfall.

It will be a long winter for the Midwest, despite some updates to the AccuWeather.com 2011-12 Winter Forecast.

Breakdown of the Updates to the Midwest Winter Forecast:

-Frequency and Duration of Cold Blasts are Lower, especially for December

-Worst of Winter Expected in January and February

The updated snowfall forecast for this winter has not changed much for Minneapolis since the initial release of the AccuWeather.com 2011-12 Winter Forecast. Paul Pastelok, expert long-range meteorologist and leader of the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team, still expects above-normal snowfall, falling in the range of 50-55 inches. The normal snowfall for Minneapolis is 50 inches.

The heaviest snow is forecast to fall south and east of Minneapolis this winter along the northern and western edge of the frequent storm track.

Chicago should anticipate snowfall amounts well above normal, which is 39 inches. The snow total for the season could approach or top 50 inches.

The collapsed roof of the Metrodome is shown in this aerial view in Minneapolis on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010. The inflatable roof of the Metrodome collapsed Sunday after a snowstorm that dumped 17 inches on Minneapolis. No one was hurt, but the roof failure sent the NFL scrambling to find a new venue for the Vikings' game against the New York Giants. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski pointed out that the normal-smashing snowfall for Chicago will be a shock to the system following a very slow start to the snow season. Measurable snow has yet to fall in Chicago with only a few occurrences of snow showers.

The following is a list of the latest measurable snowfalls in Chicago:

-Dec. 16, 1965

-Dec. 14, 2001

-Dec. 12, 1946

-Dec. 10, 2003

-Dec. 9, 1948

Pastelok also stressed that the worst of winter should hit in January and February.

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