You call this winter?

So far this is the winter that wasn't. The last time we had measurable snow was way back in the middle of March. We have gone 283 days without it at O'Hare which makes this the second longest span in Chicago's history without a tenth of an inch of snow or more. The all-time record is now within reach. That was set back in 2012 when we went 290 straight days without measurable snow.

According to the "Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index" we are enjoying a "mild" winter. The AWSSI is commonly known as the "misery index" to meteorologists. It keeps tabs on just how awful, or in our case, just how benign winter is going for various locations. The severity of a winter "is related to the intensity and persistence of cold weather, the amount of snow, and the amount and persistence of snow on the ground".

Most of the country is having a "mild" to "moderate" winter based on this index.  

Chicago is having a "mild" winter so far. These levels get progressively worse with moderate the next worse level followed by average, severe and extreme. Any good stockbroker will tell you that past performance is no guarantee for future results. That applies here too. Last year we started off in the mild category. We had under an inch of snow reporterd at O'Hare by Christmas Eve 2020 but after that date we picked up nearly 50" for the season. We ended last winter in the "severe" category.

The only location anywhere close to us having a severe winter is Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. They have seen a whopping 54.6" of snow so far.

About a quarter of the country is reporting snow cover as of December 22nd. The average snowfall depth is 2.3". Believe it or not, that is actually a bit more snow compared to the same time last year. 22.3% of the country had snow cover on December 22nd of 2020 with an average depth of 1.7".

Conditions will be more favorable for snow in Chicago starting next Thursday. A colder pattern kicks towards the end of next week.  January will start off with some of the coldest air of the season so far.