Winter Weather Event of January 31st-February 1st

Fast Facts   |   Snowfall Map   |   Science   |    Amounts


Fast Facts

  • Chicago saw 4.0" of snow at O'Hare, which pushed the seasonal total over 50", and this placed the season within the top 20 snowiest since 1884.
  • The highest snow total was 10.0" in Pontiac in Livingston County Illinois.


Snowfall Map

Snowfall Map for 31 January - 01 February


Science

   Common of most winter weather events, this was a complex one to forecast.  Mother Nature threw a change of pace at us with this weather system compared to the previous two months.  Sure the system still brought snow, but this was a much higher water content snow as the system was of Pacific origin and also tapped Gulf of Mexico moisture.  This had not been common with most of our snow events this winter as they had drier content snow, yet still heavy at times.  This higher moisture was forecast with this event, and the high moisture content was one reason snowfall and freezing rain rates were able to be moderate to heavy at times.

   Here is a look at Saturday morning weather balloon data from the NWS Office in Lincoln, which captured the atmosphere that produced moderate to heavy precipitation during that time over our area.  Many locations across northern Illinois dropped to 1/2SM visibility in snow for a period in the early morning.

ILX Sounding

   A nearly stationary front aloft was a focus for the snow from Friday afternoon through Saturday across the area, but there were many ingredients that led to the forcing and the moderate to heavy snow seen, especially Saturday morning.  These included very high moisture content in the atmosphere, a favorable upper let jet pattern for continuous broad lift, and several upper level disturbances which helped concentrate stronger ascent.

   Total snowfall amounts ended up being close to forecast for areas south of I-80 into the south Chicago metro, while less than forecast to the north.   This was due to a few elements which were forecast challenges.  There was some drier air at first which kept snowfall rates Fri night quite low in northern areas.  Then there was a lull in much of the snow from late evening into the overnight Friday due to primarily being between upper level disturbances (impulses).  These breaks can be a challenge for forecasters and computer models, as there remained forcing for lift along the elevated front, it just was weak.  Finally, just an overall further southern evolution of the best forcing and snowfall duration evolved. 

    Here is a look at the ingredients that were at work overlaid on radar at six hour intervals in this event. 

Science four panel

Below is at the surface map with dew points as an image from Friday night depicting the high pressure and dry air that some of the initial snowfall had to battle.

Surface map


Snowfall Amounts

Chicago O'Hare

4.0"

Rockford

2.5"

Chicago Midway 3SW

5.3"

Romeoville (NWS Office)

5.6"

 

Text Listing of Snowfall Reports from NWS Cooperative and CoCoRaHS Observers

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1043 AM CST SUN FEB 02 2014


...2-DAY SNOWFALL ROUND-UP...

THE FOLLOWING ARE SNOW AMOUNTS FOR THE PREVIOUS 2 DAYS
AS MEASURED IN THE MORNING BY NWS COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS
AND COCORAHS OBSERVERS. OBSERVATIONS ARE USUALLY
TAKEN AT 7 AM.

  2-DAY SNOW TOTALS FOR SUNDAY (02/02/14)
     AS OF 10:43 AM CST

ILLINOIS                                 2-DAY SNOW FALL
  LOCATION (COUNTY):                         AMT(IN) REPORTS

  PONTIAC (LIVINGSTON).........................10.0
  MARSEILLES 6WNW (LA SALLE)....................8.0
  DWIGHT (LIVINGSTON)...........................8.0
  CRETE 3E (WILL)...............................7.4
  MENDOTA 1N (LA SALLE).........................7.2
  CARBON HILL 3.1N (GRUNDY).....................6.8
  COAL CITY 4NNW (GRUNDY).......................6.8
  SCHAUMBURG  2E (COOK).........................6.6
  PEOTONE (WILL)................................6.6
  MARSEILLES (LA SALLE).........................6.6
  PEOTONE (WILL)................................6.6
  MARSEILLES 3NW (LA SALLE).....................6.5
  ELBURN (KANE).................................6.5
  KANKAKEE 3SE (KANKAKEE).......................6.4
  WINNETKA 1ESE (COOK)..........................6.3
  PEOTONE (WILL)................................6.1
  STREATOR 1WSW (LA SALLE)......................6.1
  STREATOR (LIVINGSTON).........................6.0
  JOLIET LOCK/DAM (WILL)........................6.0
  OTTAWA 2N (LA SALLE)..........................6.0
  SENECA 2SSW (LA SALLE)........................6.0
  MINOOKA (GRUNDY)..............................6.0
  MAZON 0.5ENE (GRUNDY).........................6.0
  MORRIS 6ESE (GRUNDY)..........................5.9
  WORTH (COOK)..................................5.9
  ASHKUM 5.6E (IROQUOIS)........................5.9
  MANHATTAN 2SE (WILL)..........................5.7
  PLAINFIELD 5SW (KENDALL)......................5.7
  BOURBONNAIS (KANKAKEE)........................5.7
  OAK LAWN (COOK)...............................5.7
  ROMEOVILLE (WILL).............................5.6
  STREATOR 4ENE (LA SALLE)......................5.6
  PLAINFIELD 2SSE (WILL)........................5.5
  OTTAWA 1NW (LA SALLE).........................5.5
  ORLAND HILLS 1SE (COOK).......................5.5
  CHICAGO RIDGE (COOK)..........................5.5
  AURORA (KANE).................................5.5
  HOMER GLEN 4WNW (WILL)........................5.4
  MIDWAY COOP (COOK)............................5.3
  MANHATTAN (WILL)..............................5.3
  MANHATTAN 5ENE (WILL).........................5.3
  JOLIET 2N (WILL)..............................5.3
  NEW LENOX 3E (WILL)...........................5.2
  PLAINFIELD 1SW (WILL).........................5.2
  CHICAGO 6ESE (COOK)...........................5.2
  LA SALLE (LA SALLE)...........................5.2
  GENOA (DE KALB)...............................5.2
  SHERIDAN 3SSE (LA SALLE)......................5.0
  BONFIELD 4WSW (KANKAKEE)......................5.0
  COUNTRYSIDE 1NNE (COOK).......................5.0
  YORKVILLE 2SE (KENDALL).......................4.7
  ST CHARLES (KANE).............................4.7
  HOMER GLEN 1ENE (WILL)........................4.7
  ST. CHARLES (KANE)............................4.7
  NEW LENOX 2SE (WILL)..........................4.6
  ROCHELLE (OGLE)...............................4.5
  NAPERVILLE 1NW (DU PAGE)......................4.5
  FAIRBURY (LIVINGSTON).........................4.5
  OAK PARK 1NNE (COOK)..........................4.4
  WINFIELD (DU PAGE)............................4.4
  BATAVIA 1WNW (KANE)...........................4.3
  OAK BROOK (DU PAGE)...........................4.2
  LINCOLNWOOD 2E (COOK).........................4.2
  ELK GROVE VILLAGE 1ESE (COOK).................4.2
  BURR RIDGE 2SW (DU PAGE)......................4.1
  WESTMONT 1SSE (DU PAGE).......................4.1
  WILLOW SPRINGS (COOK).........................4.0
  OTTAWA (LA SALLE).............................4.0
  OHARE (COOK)..................................4.0
  CHATSWORTH (LIVINGSTON).......................4.0
  MENDOTA 2SE (LA SALLE)........................4.0
  LISLE (DU PAGE)...............................4.0
  OAK PARK 2S (COOK)............................4.0
  CHATSWORTH (LIVINGSTON).......................4.0
  BARRINGTON (LAKE).............................4.0
  DE KALB (DE KALB).............................3.9
  HARWOOD HEIGHTS 2NNE (COOK)...................3.9
  PARK RIDGE (COOK).............................3.9
  LISLE 1SE (DU PAGE)...........................3.8
  HIGHWOOD 1S (LAKE)............................3.8
  BATAVIA 2WNW (KANE)...........................3.8
  LA GRANGE PARK 1SSW (COOK)....................3.8
  SCHAUMBURG 3WSW (COOK)........................3.8
  BATAVIA (KANE)................................3.8
  AURORA 4SE (DU PAGE)..........................3.7
  COUNTRYSIDE 1ENE (COOK).......................3.7
  ELK GROVE VILLAGE 2WSW (COOK).................3.7
  PALATINE 1E (COOK)............................3.7
  STEWARD (LEE).................................3.6
  GENEVA 2WSW (KANE)............................3.6
  SUGAR GROVE 1NE (KANE)........................3.6
  AURORA 4SE (DU PAGE)..........................3.6
  MENDOTA (LA SALLE)............................3.5
  ROSELLE 1ESE (DU PAGE)........................3.5
  BOLINGBROOK 3NE (DU PAGE).....................3.5
  BOTANIC GARDENS (COOK)........................3.5
  WESTMONT (DU PAGE)............................3.4
  ELGIN 2W (KANE)...............................3.4
  WATSEKA 6.9WNW (IROQUOIS).....................3.4
  DE KALB (DE KALB).............................3.4
  MILFORD (IROQUOIS)............................3.2
  ELGIN (KANE)..................................3.2
  RIVERWOODS (LAKE).............................3.2
  ROCKFORD 3NE (WINNEBAGO)......................3.1
  LAKE ZURICH (LAKE)............................3.1
  DIXON 2SW (LEE)...............................3.0
  BYRON 3N (OGLE)...............................2.9
  MUNDELEIN (LAKE)..............................2.9
  MUNDELEIN (LAKE)..............................2.8
  ROCKFORD 2ENE (WINNEBAGO).....................2.8
  BEACH PARK 1W (LAKE)..........................2.8
  ARLINGTON HEIGHTS 2NNW (COOK).................2.8
  CAPRON (BOONE)................................2.8
  WONDER LAKE 1WNW (MCHENRY)....................2.7
  BULL VALLEY 2WNW (MCHENRY)....................2.7
  WAUKEGAN 2N (LAKE)............................2.6
  LINCOLNSHIRE 1N (LAKE)........................2.6
  LAKE VILLA 1SSW (LAKE)........................2.6
  WOODSTOCK 5NW (MCHENRY).......................2.6
  ROCKFORD (WINNEBAGO)..........................2.5
  GURNEE 2NE (LAKE).............................2.5
  BARTLETT 1SSE (DU PAGE).......................2.5
  HOFFMAN ESTATES 5W (COOK).....................2.5
  ROCKFORD 1NW (WINNEBAGO)......................2.3
  SPRING GROVE 2N (MCHENRY).....................2.2
  ROSCOE 2SE (WINNEBAGO)........................2.1
  ROSCOE 2ESE (WINNEBAGO).......................2.1
  WOODSTOCK (MCHENRY)...........................2.1
  WOODSTOCK 2WSW (MCHENRY)......................2.1
  MACHESNEY PARK 3ENE (WINNEBAGO)...............2.0
  ROCKTON 1ESE (WINNEBAGO)......................1.8


INDIANA                                    2-DAY SNOW FALL
  LOCATION (COUNTY):                         AMT(IN) REPORTS

  LAKES OF THE FOUR SEASONS 2NNE (PORTER).......7.2
  (W9MAL)MERRILLVILLE 2NNW (LAKE)...............6.8
  DYER 1WNW (LAKE)..............................6.8
  CHESTERTON 4E (PORTER)........................6.5
  DE MOTTE 6S (JASPER)..........................6.5
  PORTER 1S (PORTER)............................6.2
  MOROCCO (NEWTON)..............................6.0
  CROWN POINT 2WSW (LAKE).......................6.0
  VALPARAISO 5NNE (PORTER)......................5.3
  VALPARAISO 5NNE (PORTER)......................5.3
  HEBRON 4NE (PORTER)...........................5.2
  VALPARAISO 6SSW (PORTER)......................5.0
  CROWN POINT 1N (LAKE).........................5.0
  VALPARAISO 1SE (PORTER).......................4.9
  VALPARAISO 6WSW (PORTER)......................4.8
  VALPARAISO 4SW (PORTER).......................4.7
  DE MOTTE 4SW (JASPER).........................4.3
  MOUNT AYR 2NNE (NEWTON).......................4.2
  REMINGTON (JASPER)............................3.7
  REMINGTON (JASPER)............................2.9
  RENSSELAER (JASPER)...........................2.8

$$
ACS

 

Snowfall Totals From Storm Spotters

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1226 AM CST SUN FEB 02 2014

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

1031 PM     SNOW             POLO                    41.98N 89.58W
02/01/2014  M2.2 INCH        OGLE               IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TOTAL SNOW. 0.21 INCHES WHEN MELTED.

0900 PM     SNOW             4 NNW JOLIET            41.59N 88.14W
02/01/2014  M5.5 INCH        WILL               IL   NWS EMPLOYEE

            STORM TOTAL

0800 PM     HEAVY SNOW       LAKE VILLAGE            41.13N 87.43W
02/01/2014  M8.3 INCH        NEWTON             IN   PUBLIC

0755 PM     HEAVY SNOW       PONTIAC                 40.88N 88.64W
02/01/2014  E6.5 INCH        LIVINGSTON         IL   PUBLIC

0730 PM     SNOW             CLIFTON                 40.94N 87.93W
02/01/2014  E5.5 INCH        IROQUOIS           IL   PUBLIC

0730 PM     HEAVY SNOW       PONTIAC                 40.88N 88.64W
02/01/2014  E7.0 INCH        LIVINGSTON         IL   PUBLIC

0730 PM     SNOW             WOODSTOCK               42.31N 88.44W
02/01/2014  E2.5 INCH        MCHENRY            IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

0730 PM     SNOW             NORTHBROOK              42.13N 87.83W
02/01/2014  E4.5 INCH        COOK               IL   PUBLIC

0730 PM     HEAVY SNOW       MORRIS                  41.37N 88.43W
02/01/2014  M7.8 INCH        GRUNDY             IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

0715 PM     SNOW             HARWOOD HEIGHTS         41.97N 87.81W
02/01/2014  M3.9 INCH        COOK               IL   COCORAHS

0715 PM     SNOW             HOMEWOOD                41.56N 87.66W
02/01/2014  M5.9 INCH        COOK               IL   COCORAHS

            STORM TOTAL.

0700 PM     HEAVY SNOW       PORTAGE                 41.59N 87.18W
02/01/2014  M6.6 INCH        PORTER             IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            0.55 LIQUID

0700 PM     SNOW             DOWNERS GROVE           41.80N 88.02W
02/01/2014  M4.5 INCH        DUPAGE             IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

0700 PM     SNOW             OAK BROOK               41.84N 87.95W
02/01/2014  M4.2 INCH        DUPAGE             IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            7 INCHES SNOW DEPTH

0657 PM     SNOW             EVANSTON                42.05N 87.69W
02/01/2014  M3.7 INCH        COOK               IL   AMATEUR RADIO

            STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL.

0645 PM     SNOW             2 W JOLIET              41.53N 88.16W
02/01/2014  M5.1 INCH        WILL               IL   PUBLIC

0630 PM     HEAVY SNOW       LANSING                 41.57N 87.55W
02/01/2014  E7.0 INCH        COOK               IL   PUBLIC

0630 PM     SNOW             SCHAUMBURG              42.03N 88.08W
02/01/2014  M4.4 INCH        COOK               IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL.

0610 PM     SNOW             OAK FOREST              41.61N 87.75W
02/01/2014  M5.5 INCH        COOK               IL   PUBLIC

            5.5 INCHES THUS FAR.

0600 PM     HEAVY SNOW       3 S PLAINFIELD          41.57N 88.20W
02/01/2014  E7.0 INCH        WILL               IL   PUBLIC

0600 PM     HEAVY SNOW       NORTHBROOK              42.13N 87.83W
02/01/2014  M3.2 INCH        COOK               IL   AMATEUR RADIO

0600 PM     SNOW             UTICA                   41.34N 89.01W
02/01/2014  M3.2 INCH        LA SALLE           IL   PUBLIC

0600 PM     HEAVY SNOW       LINCOLNWOOD             42.01N 87.73W
02/01/2014  M3.2 INCH        COOK               IL   PUBLIC

0555 PM     SNOW             ROCKFORD AIRPORT        42.20N 89.10W
02/01/2014  M2.5 INCH        WINNEBAGO          IL   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

0555 PM     SNOW             OHARE AIRPORT           41.98N 87.90W
02/01/2014  M4.0 INCH        COOK               IL   OTHER FEDERAL

0555 PM     SNOW             3 SW MIDWAY AIRPORT     41.75N 87.79W
02/01/2014  M5.3 INCH        COOK               IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            LIQUID 0.41 WITH 7 INCHES ON THE GROUND

0555 PM     HEAVY SNOW       PEOTONE                 41.33N 87.80W
02/01/2014  M6.6 INCH        WILL               IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

0555 PM     SNOW             ROMEOVILLE              41.65N 88.09W
02/01/2014  M5.6 INCH        WILL               IL   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

0515 PM     SNOW             2 N JOLIET              41.56N 88.12W
02/01/2014  M5.3 INCH        WILL               IL   NWS EMPLOYEE

0500 PM     SNOW             DOWNERS GROVE           41.80N 88.02W
02/01/2014  M4.2 INCH        DUPAGE             IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL SO FAR.

0500 PM     SNOW             ROUND LAKE              42.35N 88.11W
02/01/2014  E2.5 INCH        LAKE               IL   PUBLIC

0500 PM     HEAVY SNOW       WHEATFIELD              41.19N 87.05W
02/01/2014  E8.0 INCH        JASPER             IN   PUBLIC

0500 PM     HEAVY SNOW       BEACH PARK              42.42N 87.86W
02/01/2014  M2.9 INCH        LAKE               IL   PUBLIC

0439 PM     SNOW             7 S BRAIDWOOD           41.17N 88.22W
02/01/2014  M6.0 INCH        KANKAKEE           IL   NWS EMPLOYEE

            6.0 INCHES THUS FAR.

0435 PM     SNOW             OAK LAWN                41.72N 87.75W
02/01/2014  M5.1 INCH        COOK               IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            5.1 INCHES THUS FAR.

0345 PM     HEAVY SNOW       2 NW JOLIET             41.55N 88.15W
02/01/2014  M6.2 INCH        WILL               IL   NWS EMPLOYEE

0335 PM     SNOW             HIGHWOOD                42.21N 87.81W
02/01/2014  M3.8 INCH        LAKE               IL   PUBLIC

 



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