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Dallas beats Chicago for first snow of the season; record snowless streak in Chicago

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:23 PM GMT on December 11, 2012

It's been a bad year for building snowmen in Chicago. It last snowed in Chicago on March 4, 2012, and Chicago has now gone 281 days in a row without snow, its longest such streak on record. Weather records for Chicago date back to 1871. Dallas, Texas had its first snow of the season yesterday, picking up 0.1". This is only the second time on record that Dallas has had an earlier first snow than Chicago. The only other time this has happened was in 1951, when Dallas received 0.6" on November 2, and Chicago had 4.4" on November 3.

With accumulating snow looking highly unlikely through at least December 14, Chicago's record for latest accumulating snow of the season may also fall. The average date for Chicago's first measurable snowfall is November 16, and the latest first snow of the season on record occurred on December 16, 1965. Rain mixed with snow is expected this weekend on the 15th and 16th, but the precipitation may fall entirely as rain. The lack of snow in Chicago this year is reflective of both how warm and dry it's been. The 25.20" of rain Chicago has received so far in 2012 is more than 10" below average, and the city experienced its 10th driest January - November period on record. Record warmth in early December brought Chicago only its 3rd 70°F December day on December 3.

Jeff Masters
Chicago Skyline Architecture at Sunset from John Hancock Building of Trump & Willis (Sears) Towers32
Chicago Skyline Architecture at Sunset from John Hancock Building of Trump & Willis (Sears) Towers32

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