On a Cold and Snowy Night in Chicago

By February 5, 2008Global Warming

Here in town to attend the Chicago Auto Show , the view of the lake is obscured by a wintry mix, with a big snowstorm on the way. One of the toughest winters on record, we learn from Chicago Tribune weather columnist, Tom Skilling.

I often hear about various weather records, but why are the winters of 1976-77, 1977-78 and 1978-79 never mentioned? I remember those winters vividly, and they all set records for both snow and cold, with the winter of 1978-79 being the snowiest and coldest.

George Callison

Dear George,

Those winters usually are mentioned when the discussion turns to Chicago’s harshest winters. If they’re not, they should be. Individually, the three winters of the late 1970s were among Chicago’s coldest and snowiest.

Collectively, they established a three-winter period of cold and snow so unprecedented in Chicago weather history that the onset of a new Ice Age was a topic of speculation at the time.

Wow. And just 30 years ago. Barely a blink of the eye, climatologically speaking.

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