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):
A storm will bring snow and ice that will lead to slippery travel along a 1,500-mile swath from northern Arkansas and Georgia to Maine early next week.
The coldest air of the winter will plunge southward across much of the eastern United States and will feature single-digit and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast during Valentine's Day weekend.
A blast of arctic air will be accompanied by flurries and even a localized wall of snow in some communities in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest at the start of the Valentine's Day weekend.
Heavy rain will raise the risk of flooding across more than a dozen states in the Southeast on Presidents Day to the East Coast on Tuesday.
Umbrellas will be needed on Valentine's Day as scattered showers overspread Germany.
As warming ocean waters continue to threaten coral reefs worldwide, researchers at the University of Hawaii have developed a plan that could reverse the rapid decline of these ecosystems.
Warsaw, MO (1905)
-40 deg.; record low for state.
North Dakota (1936)
On this date the mercury plummeted to -60 deg. at Parshall, ND - the coldest temperature ever for the State of ND. Later the same year, the mercury soared to 121 degrees at Steele, ND - the hottest temperature ever for the state of ND.
Eastern US (1981)
All time high pressure reading were set: Asheville, NC 30.84 inches; Wilmington, DE 30.99 inches; Baltimore, MD 30.97 inches; Scranton, PA 30.96 inches; Louisville, KY 30.99 inches; Washington, D.C. 31.02 inches; Hartford, CT 31.03 inches; Allentown, PA 31.03 inches; Philadelphia, PA 3 inches.