So long, January 2014

So long, January 2014

We had a Wolf Full Moon on Jan.15 and a Sundog on Jan. 27.

Sundog Jan  27, 2014         Photo by Ben Schwarz

 Chicago has had 48.6 inches of snow this winter as of 1/31/14 compared with last winter of 2012-2013 of only  30.1” for the whole season.  The winter of 2011-2012 had a total of  only 19.8.

1978-1979 still tops the list at 89.7; 1977-1978 comes in 2nd at 82.3.  Then we have 1969-1970 at 77.0 in 3rd place, followed by 1966-1967 at 68.4.

The lowest snowfalls were only 9.8 in 1920-1921,11.5 in 1921-1922, and  12.0 in 1936-1937.

Chicago came in 11th in total snowfall for cities over 100,000 for the season, so far.  Erie, Pennsylvania came in first at 91.7.  Michigan had 4 cities in the top ten:Grand Rapids- 78.8, Ann Arbor- 58.0,  Detroit- 55.8, and Flint- 51.4

From the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, Chicago, IL

Here’s more:

Staff report-Chicago Tribune

7:37 p.m. CST, January 30, 2014

January 2014 was the third snowiest month ever in Chicago since snowfall records started being kept in 1884.

Ahead of January 2014’s 33.5 inches of snow are only January 1918, with 42.5 inches of snow, and January 1979, with 40.4 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday’s snowfall is Chicago’s 30th measurable snow of the season, according to the Chicago Weather Center. Only three other seasons since 1884-85 have recorded measurable snow more frequently.

Chicago Tribune January 30, 2013

Snow can be deep.

My patio 12/26/09  54.2 “ of snow 2009-2010

Snow provides an ermine coat to the landscape.

At the Japanese Garden at the Fabyan Villa in Geneva, Il, in the early 40’s.  Yes, that’s me.

For more information and photos about the garden and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed house on the property, see here:


Snow can inspire creativity.

When’s the last time you saw a snowman?  Kids don’t seem to play outside as much as they did when i was a child.

Snow can be adventuresome

 Daddy and I at 387 Lovell St. in Elgin.  The pine tree is still there.

I never saw Daddy actually ski–I don’t know if these are cross-country or downhill skis.


Deep snow can be a whole lot of fun.

Stocking caps were all the rage in the big snow storm of 1967 .

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10 Responses to So long, January 2014

  1. Medina Gross February 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Great post to help us appreciate the snow! I remember the big snowstorm of 1967. I was still living at home in Chicago and everything stopped. No buses were running. The neighbors all got out and shoveled our street by hand, since there was no way the snowplow was going to get there. It was a unique experience.

  2. Ginger Duncan February 3, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Hi Pat! Loved the pictures & the info, thank you!

  3. Peggy Timmerman February 3, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for a post about the beauty and enjoyment of winter. Most people only moan and groan about it, which drives me crazy. Winter is not only beautiful, it is a necessary part of the year for the plants and animals and birds who have evolved with it. It is a wonderful time of year to get out and play (ski or snowshoe or skate or whatever you enjoy), as well as to work in the woods (cut and burn brush, plan trails or firebreaks, mark trees, etc.)

    Peggy T.
    Lone Rock

    • Pat Hill February 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      I agree with you on all points.

  4. Trish Beckjord February 3, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Thanks once again, Pat! This was my Dad’s favorite quote every time it snowed and I still love it! The snow has been wonderful. The below zero temps not so much! I’m glad our gardens have had such good blankets!

  5. Kathy Haben February 3, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Love the pictures, thanks for sharing! I also remember the storm of 1967. My dad could not get home from the city and he spent the night in a grade school. My mom was a nurse and the Streamwood police picked her up on a snowmobile and took her to the home of a woman in labor where they delivered the baby since they could not get to Sherman hospital. THe snowdrift in our driveway was about 6′ tall. We were scrounging through the house looking for loose change to pay someone to help dig us out. Wow…memories!

    I’ve put my snowshoes and cross country skis to work this winter too. Since the ground hog saw his shadow, guess I’ll get to use them for at least another 6 weeks!

    ~Kathy Haben

    • Pat Hill February 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      Your mother had quite an adventure–one to pass down through the family forever.

  6. Jason February 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    I haven’t built a snowman myself in about 20 years. I can remember some epic snowball fights with my kids, and how the mounds of snow created by snowplows after a blizzard made excellent snow forts.

  7. Suzanne Massion February 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    I was young and new to farm life near Plato Center in 1969. By the time 78-79 rolled around I knew the reality of winter. The dairy cow barn was the warmest place of all the out buildings. We milked 67 Holsteins. Lots of cows makes great central heating. But the image of horses looking down on Dittman road from 8 ft. drifts, roads like tunnels, cars buried in drifts, sows in their Quonset huts covered by snow still makes me thankful I don’t have farm animals outside at winter’s mercy. The zero degree temps in 79 kept driving the frost line deeper and water pipes froze between the dairy barn and the steer shed. Not to speak of the wind that made “white out” a new word in my dictionary. They tied a rope out of the main barn to my waist so I would not lose my way during my twice a day chores from calf shed to steer shed to horse barn. I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything. And boy do I have great stories. Thanks, Pat for stirring up old dust, er I mean snow flurries from the past.

    • Pat Hill February 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      Suzanne–that’s an incredible story! Thanks for sharing.

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