I am a geek of many stripes — econ geek, shoe geek, yarn geek, and so on. I am also a weather geek. I love the Weather Channel, I love the NOAA website, and above all I love Tom Skilling, Chicago’s most famous weather forecaster. He brings an intellectual fascination to weather forecasting and weather phenomenon history that I can relate to at a very geeky level. I know a fellow geek when I see one.
January has hosted the Chicago area’s three biggest snowstorms—the infamous 1967 Blizzard (23.0”) and the megasnows of 1979 (20.7”) and 1999 (21.6”). Significant snow accumulations are no stranger here this time of year. Even without a truly mammoth snowstorm to its credit, the month has tallied a total of 12” of snow to date, making it one for the books. The amount is already more than the 11.3” considered normal in an entire January.
What the 1999 statistic misses is that there had been about foot of snow just before New Year’s, in December 1998. That was a great set of storms … we actually strapped on the x-c skis and skiied out the back door and the whole mile’s distance to the lakefront, having to unstrap only twice to cross streets that had been salted. Then once around the golf course and back home.
We may get anywhere from 5″-8″ between now and Saturday. Waxin’ those skis …
Even if you don’t live around Chicago, I recommend this site to you for its wealth of general weather phenomenon information.