We are lifelong residents of the Chicago area. We relish in experiencing all of the seasons. Otherwise we would choose to live somewhere else. Right? We understand lots and lots of snow and incredibly cold temperatures. We Midwesterners are hardy folk.
In October, we received the expected winter forecasts. According to Accuweather.com Expert Long-Range Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck, "Last winter was nasty in Chicago. This winter could be just as bad."
Also in October, according to Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Meteorologist and leader of the Long-Range Forecasting Team, “this winter will be similar to last year, in terms of both snow and cold." "The difference, though, is that last year, Chicago was hit with heavy snow later in the season. This year, it will be earlier." He added, "They had one big storm last year that brought their snowfall to well above average. This year, there could be several big ones."
These stories were news headlines last fall. You could hear the collective “Oh No”.
One year ago tomorrow was the infamous “Groundhog Day Blizzard” which dumped approximately 24 inches of snow in the Chicago area accompanied by a deep freeze.
I don’t have to tell anyone what our winter weather has been like. It has snowed twice. The official snowfall total to date has been under 10 inches. The average daily temperature has been several degrees above normal. We have yet to have a sub-zero low. We have just passed what is typically the coldest two week period of most winters.
On Monday, the high temperature was 53, it was 57 yesterday and is expected to be close to 50 today. The snow that fell last week is long gone. This pattern has repeatedly been in place since Thanksgiving.
While trying to discourage my dogs from running around in our very muddy back yard this morning, I made two very exciting discoveries. I spotted some daffodils popping up in one spot and irises in another. Typically this doesn’t occur until late February or early March.
It doesn’t really matter what happens from this point forward. We’ve passed January (Junuary) and we’re into Febuary (Febuly) and even if we see an extreme reversal in weather patterns, which doesn’t seem likely, it will soon be April and the risk of snow and cold will be over.
Of course, spring in Chicago is another issue...but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.