CHICAGO — Snow is melting, temperatures have risen — but it’ll be a while longer before Chicago gets consistently nicer weather, meteorologists said.
Chicago’s has had a somewhat milder winter than normal, with 21.9 inches of snow this winter, 3 inches less than average, said Casey Sullivan, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Last year, there had been 32.5 inches of snow by this time.
And after stretches of 20-degree and colder weather, Chicago’s seen days in the 30s and 40s this week.
But this week’s warmer weather doesn’t mean Chicago won’t see anymore snow this season, Sullivan said.
“As you get deeper into the winter here, and you approach spring, the normal temperatures start to warm up, the sun angle is getting higher, there’s more daylight,” Sullivan said. “It becomes less likely that you’re going to get snow. But we can get snow all the way into April. There’s been a few years where we’ve even had snow in May.”
In fact, dustings of snow are expected Friday night, and light snow is possible Saturday night, Sullivan said. Temperatures will also fall to the 20s over the weekend.
Sullivan said it’s difficult to say when temperatures will begin consistently warming up and how those temperatures could impact snowfall.
“Even if your temperatures over the next three months average above normal, you could still have periods of below-normal temperatures in there where you could get snow,” he said.
The earliest Chicago ever had its last measurable snow of the season was Feb. 27, 1997, when a half-inch of snow fell. That could mean Chicago is nearing the finish line when it comes to snow.
On average, the last measurable snowfall of the season occurs April 3. The latest Chicago’s gotten a measurable amount of snow was May 11 in 1966.
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