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):
Severe thunderstorms with the risk of a few tornadoes will advance eastward across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest into Friday.
A dangerous outbreak of severe storms will strike the northern High Plains and Canadian Prairies on Wednesday.
Evacuations and closed roads as wildfires continue to burn across the United States.
Join us on Thursday for AccuWeather LIVE as we will discuss the debate of climate change and hurricane frequency and the top five things you need to know about summer weather.
A hot and humid weekend is shaping up for Chicagoland just in time for the official start of summer, while severe thunderstorms fire nearby to the north.
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Philadelphia, PA (1990)
Hail up to the size of marbles fell with wind gusts to 50 mph in the northeast part of the city.
3-4" rains common across the state.
Southeast China (1932)
Hailstorm in Hunan Province killed 20 people and injured thousands of others.