Chicago sets record for latest first snow

Windy City hasn’t seen measurable snow since March 15

CHICAGO – There hasn’t been decent snow in Chicago since early spring, and the record for the latest first snow of the season was broken on Tuesday.

The Windy City has received trace amounts of snow during December, but the last measurable snow fell on March 15 when 1.8 inches was reported at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Measurable snow is defined as a tenth of an inch or greater.


The record for the latest first snow in the nation’s third-largest city was previously set on Dec. 20, 2012. With no measurable snow reported through Monday, that record was officially broken when the clock struck midnight Tuesday morning. The official date of first snow this season won't go into the record books until it happens.

The longest snowless streak in Chicago’s history also happened in 2012. The Windy City went without measurable snow for 290 days. As of Monday, this year’s snowless streak had moved into second place at 281 days since the last measurable snowfall on March 15.

Precipitation is in the forecast for Christmas and the day after, but it will be of the liquid variety.

According to the Climate Prediction Center, temperatures will remain above average for most of the central and eastern U.S. through Dec. 29. That means it will be hard to get any frozen precipitation in the Chicago area, likely extending the snowless streak into record-setting territory.

On average, Chicago usually receives its first measurable snow by Nov. 16.