78% of another snowless season for Chicago - KMSP-TV

78% of another snowless season for Chicago

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For the second straight season, Mother Nature has graced us with mild temperatures and very little snowfall.

In December of 2011, Chicago received only 1.7" of snowfall and ended up with a dismal 19.0" which is 50% of our seasonal snowfall.

This past December saw less than 1.0" of snow, 0.9" to be exact. In fact, Chicago has received less than 1.0" of snow in December only 9 times prior to 2012.

What makes this winter season so unique is how many cities in the deep south have seen more snow than Chicago. Here's a list of cities that have more snow than we do. The number is parenthesis is the seasonal average.

 

Chicago – 0.9" (38.0")

Memphis, TN – 0.9" (5.3")

Springfield, MO – 1.3" (17.0")

Oklahoma City, OK – 1.4" (7.9")

Amarillo, TX – 2.1" (20.2")

St. Louis, MO – 2.2" (17.8")

El Paso, TX – 2.9" (7.0")

Wichita Falls, TX – 3.5" (4.3")

Little Rock, AK – 10.3" (3.5")

 

The main reason for the heavier snowfall down south has been the result of a split flow in the jet stream. The northern or polar stream once again has remained near the Canadian border with the southern jet stream coming off of the Pacific Ocean and then out into the southern Plains and Gulf Coast states.

If we look back at the 9 December's with less than 1" of snow, we can see that 7 out of the 9 winter seasons resulted in below normal snowfall in Chicago. Keep in mind the average seasonal snowfall in Chicago is 38.0".

 

December 1889 – Trace – Season total: 21.7"

December 1912 – Trace – Season total: 19.1"

December 1943 – 0.1" – Season total: 24.0"

December 1906 – 0.3" – Season total: 29.3"

December 1971 – 0.3" – Season total: 46.8"

December 1986 – 0.4" – Season total: 26.2"

December 1939 – 0.5" – Season total: 31.0"

December 2004 – 0.6" – Season total: 39.4"

December 1936 - .08" – Season total: 12.0"

December 2012 – 0.9" – Season total: ????

 

Based on the above, we have a 78% of having another winter season with below normal snowfall.

The outlook for the remainder of January from the Climate Prediction Center calls for above normal temperatures along with near normal precipitation for the Midwest. Chicago is more likely to see more rain the rest of January compared to snow.

In fact, a big winter storm is forecasted to come up from Texas and Oklahoma next week, but this looks to produce more rain than snow.

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