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):
Following thunderstorms, cooler settles into the Midwest and Northeast through Midweek.
One person is dead, and another remains critically injured after a lightning strike in Southern California.
Relief is on the way for portions of the Plains that are in the grips of the ongoing drought.
The expansive drought in Nevada has sparked an increase in Mormon crickets in places that haven't seen these crickets since the last major drought there in the mid-2000s.
People across the Northeast will be reaching for their umbrellas on Monday as rain and thunderstorms spread across the region.
Heavy rain will aim for eastern France, southern Germany and northern Italy early this week.
Sharon, PA (1999)
70 mph wind gus in a thunderstorm.
Small but intense storm, said to be the worst in about 50 years, hit southern Mississippi (where Camille hit in 1969). U.S. Coast Guard cutter lost with 39 aboard.
New England (1949)
Heat wave in New England; Greenville, RI hit 102 degrees.