Chicago's recent snowfall forces winter total above normal, above 2017
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 15, 2018, 12:52:55 PM EST
The snowy and cold start to February 2018 in Chicago contrasts starkly with the weather conditions experienced during February 2017.
February storms put the city above average for snowfall this season. As of Feb. 13, 2018, there has been 28.3 inches of snow at O'Hare Airport, compared to an average of 24.8 inches to date.
During Feb. 3-11, 2018, Chicago tied a record for consecutive days of measurable snow.
Measurable snow occurs when at least 0.1 of an inch occurs. Snowfalls less than 0.1 of an inch are considered to be too small to measure and are referred to as a trace amount.
The recent nine-day stretch matched that of Jan. 6-14, 2009, and also way back in 1902.
Deicing fluids were depleted on Sunday at Southwest Airlines’ operations at Chicago Midway amid the frequent snowfall, according to Forbes. More than 200 flights were affected.
Temperatures during the first 11 days of February 2018 averaged 8.2 degrees Fahrenheit below normal. The normal high for this period is 33, while the normal low is 18.
During February 2017, temperatures averaged 10.3 degrees above normal. There was no measurable snow the entire month of February 2017 and only 0.6 of an inch of snow fell at a staggered rate during January 2017. There was no measurable snow on the ground during all of January and February 2017.
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This stretch of days without measurable snow on the ground for the two-month period set a record. It did snow and accumulate on multiple days during March 2017 when 7.8 inches of snow fell.
The 6.2 inches of snow that fell on Feb. 9, 2018, was the biggest single-day snowfall since Dec. 4, 2016, when 6.4 inches of snow fell at O'Hare.
Looking ahead, temperature swings are in store through this weekend and into early next week as Arctic air and Pacific air flip-flop across the region.
After temperatures stayed stuck in the 20s on Monday, highs in the 40s are projected for Thursday. Cold weather will return on Friday with a high forecast to again be in the 20s.
As storms are forecast to continue to brew and catch up with the periodic cold air, more opportunities for snow will arise through the end of the month.
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