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City Says It's Ready For Ferocious Chicago Winter, With 50% More Snow

By Heather Cherone | October 27, 2016 8:12am | Updated on October 28, 2016 11:26am
 After last year's easy breezy winter, Chiberia is returning with a vengeance, experts say. 
After last year's easy breezy winter, Chiberia is returning with a vengeance, experts say. 
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Flickr/niXerKG

CITY HALL — City snow crews are bracing for a return of Chiberia after last year's mild winter, city officials said Wednesday.

The city is expected to get socked with 46 inches of snow — 50 percent more than last year, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams told the City Council.

Crews began preparing in July, stockpiling 370,000 tons of salt to spread on city streets once the white stuff starts falling around Thanksgiving, Williams said.

"We're ready," Williams said. "But Mother Nature can always throw you a curve."

Temperatures will be below normal in January and February, Williams said.

"It's going to be a bad winter," Williams said.

RELATED: The History of Winter in Chicago

Williams predictions are in line with those from the the Farmers' Almanac, which critics don't believe is an reliable source for the weather.

However, the long, cold and snowy prediction is a safe bet thanks to La Niña, an ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is basically the wintry counterpart to steamy El Niño, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

The city is expected to get hit with cold spells that "come in hard" but don't last for long, particularly in December and January, Pastelok said. February should be "more active" for storms, and the winter will last longer than usual, Pastelok said.

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