It didn't live up to all of the hype, but Thursday's burst of winter weather in Chicago did carry a small accumulation of snow, which ended the area's nearly 300-day snow drought.
The storm, as it were, managed to muster up only a couple tenths of an inch of snow, officially ending Chicago's snow drought and establishing new records for the latest first measurable snowfall and longest stretch of no measurable snowfall ever in Chicago, according to the National Weather Service.
However, the storm has left intact some other notable streaks for Chicago, according to the weather service.
Temperatures at midnight were still above freezing, so the streak of days without a sub-freezing high temperature continues in Chicago.
Friday's high temperature above freezing makes it the 300th consecutive day without a high temperature below freezing, tying 2004 for the 2nd longest such streak, according to the weather service. This year in Chicago is now guaranteed to move into at least a tie for 5th place for latest first day of the season with a high temperature below freezing.
While the measurable accumulation drought may have been broken, it's still been about 10 months since the Chicago area has had a snowfall of at least one inch in the same calendar day, the weather service says. The last time Chicago has had a calendar day snowfall of one inch was back on Feb. 24.
So, Friday will be the 301st consecutive day without a 1-inch snowfall, making it the 8th longest streak ever in Chicago. With several more days of no snow expected, this year is bound to move up in the rankings, the weather service says.
Additionally, the weather service says, the average temperature in Chicago so far this year has been 55.4 degrees, which places 2012 within striking distance of breaking the record for the warmest year ever in Chicago. The previous record warmest year was 1921, when the average temperature was 54.5 degrees, the weather service said. In order to have this year average 54.6 degrees and break the record, the last 11 days of the year need to have an average temperature of approximately 28.8 degrees, according to the weather service. In order for 2012 to be tied for the warmest year on record in Chicago, the remaining 11 days of the year would need to have an average temperature of approximately 25.5 degrees.
© Copyright 2012 Sun-Times Media, LLC
CHICAGO (AP) - Weather officials say Chicago's light dusting of snow established a new record for latest first measurable snowfall for the city.
Just two-tenths of an inch of snow was recorded at O'Hare International Airport on Thursday, after a near-blizzard had been predicted.
The National Weather Service says this has been one of Chicago's longest streaks without a 1-inch snowfall. Friday will be the 301st consecutive day without an inch of snowfall. That makes it the eighth longest streak without a 1-inch snowfall.
It's also been a long stretch of days without a sub-freezing high temperature. The weather service says Friday will be the 300th consecutive day without a high temperature below freezing. That ties 2004 for the second longest streak.
Travelers hope to be on their way after snowstorm
CHICAGO (AP) - Holiday travelers who were delayed by the snowstorm in the Midwest yesterday are getting where they're going today.
The number of flight cancellations in Chicago is in the dozens today, not the hundreds like yesterday. Some 200,000 pre-holiday travelers are expected to pass through O'Hare today, described as the busiest air travel day of the holiday period.
But high winds are being blamed for lingering airport delays farther east, with three-hour waits anticipated at some New York area airports. And winter storm warnings and advisories have been issued for Pennsylvania.
Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power in Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan and Illinois. The weather service says up to 20 inches of snow fell in the Madison, Wisconsin area, and that high winds and drifting snow are making travel dangerous.
The storm was blamed for traffic deaths in five states.
Copyright © 2012 Associated Press