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Snow in Chicago
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It’s October and it’s snowing in Chicago, which isn’t as unusual as it sounds

Based on data going back to 1981, we're only four days ahead of schedule.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Plenty of trees still have colorful foliage on their branches, but many Chicagoans woke up to flakes falling outside their windows this morning (thankfully, it's not actually accumulating). No, it's not even Halloween and it's snowing in Chicago, but according to National Weather Service data, a snow flurry in October isn't out of the ordinary.

According to NWS snowfall data collected at O'Hare International Airport between 1981 to 2010, the "normal first date" for a trace of snow in Chicago is October 30, which makes sense considering that we experienced some snow on Halloween last year. The earliest Chicago snowfall on record dates back to 1941, when the city experienced a flurry on September 25.

The NWS snowfall data also shows that Chicago typically gets its first inch of accumulated snow on December 7, so you probably won't have to break out the shovel for another month or so.

While there's no more snow in the forecast this week (in fact, it's going to warm up a bit in time for Halloween weekend), the Farmers' Almanac is predicting a "cold, very flaky" winter throughout the Midwest this season with "normal to below-normal" temperatures. That's a wordy way of saying that winter in Chicago will probably be about as cold and snowy as usual (an average of 28.1 inches) and your neighbors will definitely call dibs on some parking spots by filling them with junk.

Now let's enjoy a few reactions to Chicago's first flakes of the season:

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