www.chicagotribune.com/news/asktomwhy/ct-wea-0119-asktom-20120119,0,6552381.story

Chicago Weather Center

Ask Tom why: Which winters in the last 20 years or so had very little snow?

January 19, 2012

Advertisement

Dear Tom,

I remember hearing about a winter in the last 20 years or so with very little snow. Which winter was that?

—Linda Sieracki, Palos Park

Dear Linda,

While Chicago's four most recent winters have been excessively snowy, each featuring more than 50 inches of snow, several of the prior winters received subpar snowfall of less than 30 inches. Since the winter of 1990-91, seven seasons have recorded less than 30 inches of snow, the least being 1995-96 with 23.9 inches. The six other seasons with less than 30 inches were 1991-92 with 28.4 inches, 1994-95 with 24.1 inches, 1997-98 with 29.6 inches, 2002-03 with 28.6 inches, 2003-04 with 24.8 inches and 2005-06 with 26.0 inches. While there is still a lot of winter to go this season, history tells us that about 70 percent of the winters with as little snow as we've had so far end up having below normal seasonal snowfall totals.