Is fall snow a sign of things to come this winter?
Our white Halloween and Monday's snow might make it seem we're in for a long, cold winter, but weather forecasters see no sure connection.
ABC 7 meteorologist Larry Mowry said he believes there will be one or more mild spells this winter. Mowry noted Monday marked 21 consecutive days of below-average temperatures, so while there hasn't been a mild spell yet, it is likely coming.
He said he expects this year's high amounts of precipitation will continue, but he doesn't yet know if it will be rain or snow.
"The best way to think of it is the jet stream has been pretty active over the Midwest for quite a while," Mowry said.
Two snowy months?
Glenn Adams, the street unit foreman for Arlington Heights' public works department, said private weather forecasters hired by the village predicted that most snow would fall in late January and early February, and it would be relatively mild otherwise.
Based on what's happened so far, Adams said he isn't convinced. He said he takes with a grain of salt any prediction beyond four days.
He noted his department removed snow in seven months last winter. "The last day we salted was April 27 or April 28," he said. "It's pretty scary."
The snow did create a scary situation for some airplane passengers. One plane trying to land Monday morning at O'Hare International Airport slid off the runway at about 7:45 a.m.
None of the 38 passengers and three crew members aboard the Envoy Air flight from Greensboro, North Carolina, were hurt.
More than 1,100 flights were canceled at O'Hare and nearly 100 at Midway, with delays averaging 80 minutes at O'Hare and 15 at Midway.
Uncertain weather patterns
Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center told The Associated Press the large global forces that help drive broad weather patterns are weak this year, which often makes for more frequent dramatic changes in local weather.
The weather service predicts there is a slight chance it will be warmer than normal in most of the country this winter, and no place will be colder than normal for December through February.
Halpert said there's no El Nino or La Nina in the central Pacific -- often key weather drivers -- making this winter tough to predict. That leaves it up to other global climate factors that can flip every few weeks.