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Thanks, La Nina: This Winter Expected To Be Snowier Than Usual

By Kelly Bauer | October 20, 2017 5:09am | Updated on October 20, 2017 2:50pm
 More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter.
More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter.
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Jack Mongan

DOWNTOWN — This winter is expected to be snowier than usual for Chicago.

Chicago — and most of the rest of Illinois — is expected to see a wetter than normal December through February, according to the National Weather Service.

There's no clear indication yet if temperatures will be lower or higher than normal in the city, said Charles Mott, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

You can blame the snow on La Nina, a weather occurrence that can lead to more rain and snow and lower temperatures in the Midwest. The National Weather Service said there's a 55 percent to 65 percent chance La Nina will develop before winter.

There's no exact forecast for how much snow and rain the city could get during a winter with La Nina, but Chicago tends to get the most precipitation in January.

The normal amount of precipitation for December, the start of meteorological winter, is 8.2 inches, Mott said. January typically gets 10.8 inches, while February sees 9.1 inches.

More snow would mark a change from recent winters: The city barely had snow last winter, though there were snaps of extremely cold weather.

Of course, the forecast could change, Mott said, noting three-month forecasts are hard to develop. But it's rare for the National Weather Service to have to completely revamp its winter outlook, he said.