We are finally starting to see a cold winter come around and stay around. Although there has not been any snow yet, city officials say they are preparing for a more active winter season this year as “payback” for last year’s unusually mild winter.
Commissioner Charles Williams with the Department of Streets and Sanitation said the city is expecting anywhere from 43 to 50 inches of snowfall this upcoming winter season. The average snowfall in one season for Chicago sits at around 36.1 inches.
You should also expect there to be at least nine “events” in December and about 14 in January, one of which can emulate the historic Super Bowl Sunday blizzard in 2015. Williams stated that at least one large snow event of about 12 or more inches could hit close to Super Bowl Sunday once more.
Considering the abnormally warm weather we experienced throughout the month of October and most of November, it is expected that the city will see a colder-than-normal January and February in 2017. Williams stated, “It is payback for last year. It was a very mild winter last year, we had below normal snow. Not this season.”
Only 100,000 tons of salt were used during last winter, but the department has already stocked 374,000 tons of salt for this upcoming season, as well as adding 20 new salt spreaders to its fleet of 300 plows and salt spreaders.
City officials urge residents to prepare for winter weather conditions as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the snow arrives.
Rich Guidice, Director of Operations for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications explained, “As we know, Chicago weather can change quickly, affecting driving conditions as well as efforts to stay warm.” Considering this, in the city, residents can track snow plows in real-time in order to see which streets are being plowed and when.
Regardless of snow, the city’s winter parking ban begins Dec. 1 and remains in effect until April 1. The ban is in place from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. on 107 miles of Chicago streets.