The AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team has Chicago right in the middle of where the worst of winter 2011-2012's snow and cold is expected to be.
"Last winter was nasty in Chicago. This winter could be just as bad," warned AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck.
This will make it the fifth winter in a row with snowfall well above normal and temperatures well below average for the city. The last time there were this many back-to-back winters with snowfall well above normal was in the 1970s.
Last year's winter was certainly rough. Most notable was the historic blizzard that hammered the city on the first two days of February, dumping more than 20 inches of snow in just 24 hours. The storm forced hundreds of people who became stuck on Lakeshore Drive to abandon their vehicles.
Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Meteorologist and leader of the Long-Range Forecasting Team, said this winter will be similar to last year, in terms of both snow and cold.
"The difference, though, is that last year, Chicago was hit with heavy snow later in the season. This year, it will be earlier," Pastelok explained.
He added, "They had one big storm last year that brought their snowfall to well above average. This year, there could be several big ones."
Bitter cold is also expected to come on strong early in the season during December. Temperatures are forecast to remain below normal into January, then perhaps trend a bit closer to average in February.
(Average is 39 inches; Years with above-normal snowfall are in bold):
Snowy weather is kicking off the month of March across the Northeast as a winter storm is moving into the region.
As a large storm rolls out of the Plains and Midwest, a swath of snow, ice and travel disruptions will extend into the Northeast for the start of March.
Yet another winter storm will take aim at the Northeast and Midwest This week with widespread ice and flooding concerns.
The beginning of March marks the start of meteorological spring in the Northern Hemisphere, but this does not signal the end of winter weather in the United States.
While more storms are on the horizon to start March, the accompanying cold shots will be less extreme.
A storm will whip across the United Kingdom and the North Sea through Sunday with potentially damaging and disruptive winds.
Wellington, WA (1910)
Greatest avalanche disaster in U.S. history. Train swept from tracks at Wellington, killing 98 people.
Heavy wet snow, "worst since '88", crippled NYC, NJ (Congressional Limited). Reading of 24" at Asbury Park; NYC's lowest barometer 28.38"; 28.27" at New Haven; Complete disruption of electricity in New Jersey.
Raleigh, NC (1927)
(1st-2nd) 17.8" of snow -- all-time biggest snowstorm and 24-hour record.