The Latest Stats on the Lack of Snow Cover and Mild Temperatures this Winter

    The especially mild winter continues across the area, with February averaging 4 to 6 degrees above normal across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.  Meteorological winter, defined as December 1st through February 28th/29th, is almost to an end.  Here are some up-to-date statistics on where the lack of snow cover and warmth stands.


Snow Cover...or the Lack Thereof 

 

Chicago

Snow Cover Amounts at 6 am

2011-2012 Winter (thru Feb 15th)

Last Winter (thru Feb 15th)

# of days with 1+"

10

61

# of days with 3+"

6

34

# of days with 5+"

1

20

# of days with 6+"

0

18

Data for both winters from December 1st - February 15th

 

 Chicago:  Least Amount of Days with 1 Inch or More Snow on Ground

Rank

Winter

# of Days

1.

1931-1932

8

 

1936-1937

8

 

1943-1944

8

 

1948-1949

8

5.

1905-1906

9

6.

1933-1934

10

 

2011-2012

10

8.

1889-1890

11

 

1927-1928

11

 

1952-1953

11

Data for October 1st - February 15th 

 

Rockford

Snow Cover Amounts at 6 am

2011-2012 Winter (thru Feb 15th)

Last Winter (thru Feb 15th)

# of days with 1+"

17

63

# of days with 3+"

8

58

# of days with 5+"

5

28

# of days with 6+"

2

20

Data for both winters from December 1st - February 15th

 

 Rockford:  Least Amount of Days with 1 Inch or More Snow on Ground

Rank

Winter

# of Days

1.

2001-2002

15

2.

2011-2012

17

3.

1998-1999

20

4.

1955-1956

22

5.

1967-1968

23

6.

1953-1954

25

7.

1982-1983

26

8.

1997-1998

27

9.

1980-1981

28

 

1991-1992

28

Data for October 1st - February 15th 

 

Click here for a news story on how quickly our snow cover has disappeared when it has been around, as shown by this January 30th example.


 

Temperatures of 40° and Warmer

 Chicago:  40° Days

Rank

Winter

# of 40 Degree Days

1.

1881-1882

61

2.

1877-1878

54

3.

1879-1880

53

4.

1889-1890

52

5.

1875-1876

51

6.

1931-1932

50

7.

2001-2002

49

8.

1932-1933

45

 

1998-1999

45

10.

1918-1919

44

 

1953-1954

44

...17

2011-2012

40*

Data for entire Meteorological Winter (December 1st - February 28th/29th)

* = Data through Only February 15th

The high has reached at least 40 degrees so far this winter on 52% of the winter days in Chicago (over half of all days!).

 

 

 Rockford:  40° Days

Rank

Winter

# of 40 Degree Days

1.

1932-1933

48

 

2001-2002

48

3.

1943-1944

43

4.

1905-1906

41

 

1931-1932

41

6.

1927-1928

39

7.

1933-1934

38

8.

1920-1921

36

 

1923-1924

36

10.

1930-1931

35

...15

2011-2012

32*

Data for entire Meteorological Winter (December 1st - February 28th/29th)

* = Data through Only February 15th

The high has reached at least 40 degrees so far this winter on 42% of the winter days in Rockford.

 

Temperatures and snow cover are related, primarily with the impact fresh snow cover can have on modifying the near-surface air mass. One reason temperatures have been able to maintain such nearly-continuous warmth this winter has been the general lack of snow cover.  However, here is a recent example from Sunday that has been rare this winter on how fresh snow cover kept temperatures cooler across northwest Indiana.

Matt Gillen - Student Volunteer (NIU),  Charles Mott - Hydrometeorological Technician,  Gino Izzi and Matt Friedlein - Lead Forecasters,  Special thanks to Joe Dubczak (ORD)



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