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    Chicago Snow Drought May End This Week

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
    December 05, 2011, 8:26:14 AM EST

    Chicago is in the midst of an unusual snow drought, failing to yet record its first measurable snow of the winter. That could change this week.

    Snowflakes made an appearance in Chicago as recently as Thursday night, but did not amount to more than a trace (essentially a light coating on some surfaces).

    Not since the middle of April has measurable snow whitened Chicago.

    Typically, Chicago receives its first measurable snow of the winter season around Nov. 21. Since snowfall record-keeping began in 1885, 88 percent of the years recorded that feat by Dec. 2.

    The disruptive snow traversing the nation's midsection this weekend will bypass Chicago, meaning this winter will continue to climb the city's list of record late starts for measurable snow.

    After today, this winter will move to 14th place on that list (tied with Dec. 3 from 1990 and 1934).

    However, the chance for snow next week may prevent Dec. 16, 1965--which sits at the top of that list--from being challenged.


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    Following the passage of this weekend's storm, a new system will deliver snow from New Mexico and western Texas to the central Great Lakes Sunday night into Tuesday morning.

    In the path of this disruptive snow likely sits Albuquerque, N.M., Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma City, Okla., Springfield, Mo., and Kalamazoo, Mich.

    Chicago could join that list and pick up a quick accumulation Monday night as long as the system does not take a more southern track through the Midwest than currently expected.

    Even if Chicago manages to escape Monday night's snow, another chance will come later in the week.

    Residents of Chicago should not view this winter's slow start as a sign of things to come this season. The AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team still targets Chicago as where the worst of winter will unfold.

    "The snow total for the season could approach or top 50 inches," reported AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans.

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