What does today`s record warmth mean for the winter ahead? - FOX 32 News Chicago

What does today`s record warmth mean for the winter ahead?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Warm, moist air streamed into the Chicago area today and although we were blanketed in fog and clouds, the temperatures soared to record highs between 68 and 72 degrees at every reporting station in the Chicago area except O'Hare which reached 70 degrees just 1 degree shy of the record.

It is extremely rare for us to see this type of winter warmth. We should see highs near 39 for early December, but on the first three days of this month we reached 59, 63 and 70 degrees respectively. Only two other times since records began in 1871 has Chicago's high topped 70 degrees in the month December. The first time was 71 degrees on December 3rd, 1970 and again when we hit 71 degrees on December 2nd, 1982. Today was the third time when O'Hare reached 70 degrees at 2:55 PM. Even highs in the 60s are rare for Chicago in December. It has only reached that mark 73 times since 1871 including the past two days.

So, does this mean we will have a warm winter and what about snowfall? Let's look at December in 1970 and 1982 when the other two 70 days occurred. Keep in mind we should average 8.5" of snow this month. In December 1970 there was 4.2" of snow and in 1982 there was only 2.1", both well below average.

The winter of 1970-71 went on to see 37.9" of snow which is exactly average, but only 22" of that fell during the winter months of December, January and February. March was the main month for snow that winter with 14.8". The overall temperature that winter was also average at 26.3 degrees.

During the winter of 1982-83 there was 26.6" of snow which is about 11" below average. That winter March was the also the snowiest month with 9.0" and the average temperature was 30.9 degrees which is 4.5 degrees above normal.

But don't get too attached this unseasonable warmth because the 30s and 40s will return later this week and yes we will get snow this winter and most of that could fall in March if we follow the winters of 1970-71 and 1982-82.

New Record Highs Set December 3rd:

Midway Airport  72

Romeoville   71

Aurora  70

Rockford  69

DuPage Airport  69

Wheeling  69

Valparaiso  68

Waukegan  68

O'Hare  70 (Record 71 in 1970, 1982)

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