Winter is still hitting the Midwest with a vengeance, causing ice buildup on rivers and a projected wind chill in Chicago of 30 below zero. Worse, forecasters think Chicago is to be hit yet again with snow this weekend, pushing snow totals to one of the area’s highest winter snowfalls on record.
Usually the worst of winter is over by the end of February, but Mother Nature has at least one more surprise in store for the Midwest with a third appearance of the effects of the polar vortex due to hit starting Tuesday and carrying on into the weekend.
Thus far the Chicago area has recorded 22 days below zero. This is close to the 129-year record of 25 days below zero, and if forecasts of this third polar vortex are realized, that record could be broken this week.
Thus far this is the third coldest winter on record in Chicago’s 143-year recorded weather history.
Yet Chicago hasn’t been hit with the worst of it this winter, according to the winter misery index released this month.
The misery index, based on cold temperatures and snowfall, awards Detroit with the worst winter of the year.
The Motor City has seen 6-1/2 feet of snow and endured 100 days below the freezing mark. These stats mark this winter as Detroit’s harshest since 1950.
“New York, Milwaukee and Duluth are in the midst of their fourth harshest winters,” the Associated Press reported. “Also having top-10 harshest winters are Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota; Louisville, Ky.; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Cheyenne, Wyo.”