Chicago will go through an entire January and February without so much as an inch of snow on the ground for the first time in recorded history...
According to the National Weather Service in Romeoville, Illinois, Christmas morning was the last day O'Hare International Airport reported at least an inch of snow on the ground.
Never before in records dating to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 has an official Chicago reporting station failed to measure at least one January or February day with at least an inch of snow cover in the same winter.
The Windy City has also set a record-long winter streak without a one-inch snowfall; the last such occurrence was the weekend before Christmas on Dec. 17.
The winter started out impressively snowy in Chicago, with 17.7 inches of snow falling in two weeks from Dec. 4-18, more than double the average for the entire month (8 inches).
Then, the snow essentially shut off.
Since Dec. 18, O'Hare Airport has measured a pathetic 0.6 inches of total snowfall. Average Chicago snowfall from Dec. 19 through the end of February is 23.4 inches.
Meanwhile, February has been one of the city's warmest on record. Two of the five 70-degree-plus February days on record at O'Hare occurred within a three-day span on Feb. 18 and 20.
This led to the odd sight of budding trees in the Chicagoland metro well ahead of schedule.