The city’s “Big Snow” of ’67 and the calm before the storm



Dear Tom,

It’s turned colder now, but with all of our recent mild weather, wasn’t it reminiscent of the city’s “Big Snow”, the calm before the storm?

Thanks, Aaron Szanyi

Dear Aaron,

In many ways, it was. The winter of 1966-67 was rather unremarkable through January 25th. Snowfall totaled just 11.1 inches for the season, more than half of it (6.7 inches) falling in December, buoyed by a 4.2-inch snowfall on December 28. January opened seasonably cold with several light “nuisance” snows, the heaviest being just 1.1 inches on January 4. A mid-month cold snap sent temperatures below zero with lows of minus 4 and minus 10 on January 17-18. Then a marked January thaw set in, with temperatures surging into the 50s and 60s; the warmest day was January 24, with a high of 65 and a low of 44. What followed created Chicago weather history — falling temperatures and the city’s all-time biggest snowstorm. Snowfall on January 26-27 totaled 23.0 inches, and wind gusts to 53 mph created huge drifts, paralyzing the city for more than a week.

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