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posted: 12/12/2012 12:01 AM

Where's the snow? We've gone 282 days without real snow

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  • Annette White of Arlington Heights enjoys running any chance she gets, but she says "once the snow comes it gets really slippery and becomes a problem," so she's enjoying the record of 282 days without snow.

       Annette White of Arlington Heights enjoys running any chance she gets, but she says "once the snow comes it gets really slippery and becomes a problem," so she's enjoying the record of 282 days without snow.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Salesperson Klay Lech at Neradt Ace Hardware in Mount Prospect, left, has sold only five snowblowers this season, which is substantially low considering they usually sell around 15 by now. Tuesday set a record of 282 days without snow.

       Salesperson Klay Lech at Neradt Ace Hardware in Mount Prospect, left, has sold only five snowblowers this season, which is substantially low considering they usually sell around 15 by now. Tuesday set a record of 282 days without snow.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Chicago area this week set a record for the most consecutive days without snow: 282 days as of Tuesday, and counting.

The National Weather Service reported that the last time measurable snow fell in the Chicago area was March 4. The 281st day on Monday broke the old record set in 1994, when no real snow fell between March 1 and Dec. 5.

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The average no-snow period, from the previous cold season's final snow to the new cold season's first snow, is 226 days for the Chicago area.

Rockford, incidentally, has about a week to go before it can break its record, the weather service said. It must go 287 days without real snow; that record was set in 1922, and this season so far ranks fourth on its list.

Yet its prospect for a record looks good, too, as the forecast is not calling for any snow in the region at least through Thursday and possibly into next week.

The later it goes before real snow, another Chicago-area record may fall: the latest date real snow is measured for the first time.

That record is Dec. 16, 1965. The average is Nov. 16, and the earliest real snow has fallen is Oct. 12, 2006.

The final snowfall of the season on average is April 4. The latest it's occurred is May 11, 1966.

There's still another ranking this season is moving up.

Every day so far this cool season the Chicago area has had high temperatures at or above 32 degrees, the National Weather Service reported this week.

On average the area sees its first day where temperatures never reach the freezing mark around Nov. 22, the weather service said.

Here are the top 15 rankings for latest first completely subfreezing days for the Chicago area.

1. Jan. 1, 1923

2. Dec. 28, 1971

3. Dec. 25, 1918

4. Dec. 24, 2001

5. Dec. 22, 1998

6. Dec. 21, 1939

7. Dec. 18, 1921

8. Dec. 17, 1987

8. Dec. 17, 1999

10. Dec. 16, 1878

11. Dec. 13, 1915

11. Dec. 13, 1961

11. Dec. 13, 2004

14. Dec. 12, 1922

15. Dec. 11, 1912

15. Dec. 11, 1994

The forecast predicts above-freezing high temperatures through Dec. 15 so far, the weather service said, meaning this season can move up into the top 15.

Going this far into the season without having had a below-freezing day does not necessarily mean the rest of the winter will be mild or snowfall below average, the weather service said. In the winter of 1961-62, the first subfreezing day didn't happen until Dec. 13, but that winter went on to see 50 inches of snow from December to February with overall lower average temperatures.

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