January 26, 2012
Over a typical winter season, are there more days with snow cover or without?
—John Glaenzer, Woodridge
Chicago definitely has more days with bare ground than with snow cover. An in-house study conducted with the help of Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski determined that Chicago is covered by at least 1 inch of snow on 43 days during a typical snow season. With the bulk of the city's accumulating snow falling during the 150-day period from mid-November to mid-April, the city is under a snow cover less than 30 percent of the time. Checking records back to the winter of 1884-85, days of snow cover in Chicago have varied considerably, ranging from as few as eight days in the winter of 1948-49 to as many as 100 during the city's benchmark snow winter of 1978-79 when snow covered the ground from Nov. 26 to March 5.
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