Chicago sees coldest start to April in 137 years

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - No one alive today has experienced an April in Chicago as cold as this one. It has been 137 years since the first 17 days of April have been as cold and snowy as they have been in 2018, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Nizzo.

This month is the second coldest on record, trailing only the April of 1881, Nizzo said.

Snow will continue to fall Wednesday night into early Thursday, making for slippery driving conditions as a slushy mix accumulates on the roadways. About an inch can be expected on grassy areas and elevated surfaces, the weather service said.

While the cold temperatures and snow Chicago is experiencing are unusual, they aren’t unprecedented. The average snowfall in April is about one inch, and Chicago has seen measurable snowfall into early May, Nizzo said.

But the consistent winter weather we’ve been seeing so far this spring is not the norm.

“What has been uncommon is the persistence of the snow and cold,” Nizzo said. “The extent and severity has been at an extreme for the last couple of weeks.”

He said Chicago is on the verge of setting a record as the coldest start to April in history.

Wednesday started off with sleet and hail, with rain continuing throughout the day and into the evening. A freezing drizzle and snow began to fall about 7:30 p.m. and is expected to continue until early Thursday.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 1 a.m. Thursday for the northern suburbs, but Nizzo said Chicago is expected to get the same drizzle and light snow until between midnight and 2 a.m. Thursday with temperatures dropping to about 30 degrees.

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