It isn’t just my feeling this winter has been unusually mild, there are facts to support my contention:
Friday’s rain is just another of the meteorological oddities which have marked December 2011. The month, now running a 7.4-degree surplus and ranked among the mildest 12 percent of all Decembers on record over the past 141 years, is also, along with cities all over the Midwest, in the midst of a snow drought here. The month, typically Chicago’s third snowiest with 8.5 inches of snow and just behind January’s 10.8 inches and February’s typical 9.1 inches, is marching toward a midnight Saturday night close with only 1.7 inches of snow to its credit. That’s an amount which is one fifth (20 percent) the so-called “normal” tally for the month and just 10 percent of last December’s 16.2-inch total.
Lakefront hits 50-degrees Thursday; O’Hare tops out way above normal at 48-degrees, marking the 18th day at or above 40 this December. Mild Pacific-origin air swept into the area Thursday, sending Wednesday’s arctic chill with its 31-degree high packing. Readings Thursday afternoon surged 17-degrees higher, topping out at 48-degrees at O’Hare and Midway. Northerly Island on Chicago’s lakefront managed a 50-degree high. The reading was Chicago’s warmest in 10 days and marked the 18th time this month that temperatures have made it to 40-degrees.
(click here to continue reading Clocks tick toward December’s Saturday night close with just 8 percent of last year’s snow on the books – Chicago Weather Center.)
I’ve made a (mental) bargain with Chicago’s weather – I won’t complain about winter’s lack of sunlight, and general dreariness, if, and only if there is substantial snow for me to play in, and photograph. Despite Tom Skilling’s report of 1.7” of snow so far this winter, downtown Chicago has less than that. In fact, only once was any building dusted with a smidgen of snow, and it melted by the following day. Rain is difficult to photostroll in, at least with my current camera equipment.