Blizzard 2011 back to 3rd worst in city history

February 11, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The National Weather Service consulted with TV meteorologists including ABC7's Mike Caplan and determined the final ranking Friday afternoon. Earlier in the day, they had demoted last week's storm from third to fourth place.

At issue-- less than a fifth of an inch of snow. And whether or not it counted.

ABC7's Caplan explains that the National Weather Service discounted .2" of snow that fell on Tuesday morning, which lowered the storm's total to 20.0" instead of 20.2" previously reported.

They then added 1.5" of snow that occurred on January 12, 1979, to the total from the blizzard of that year. That brought the 1979 storm total to 20.3" from the earlier amount of 18.8."

This first revision would have placed last week's storm in 4th place -- still behind the 23.0" of 1967 and the 21.6" of 1999.

Caplan said the NWS listened to his concerns about how they were discounting snow from 2011 but adding snow from 1979. During a conference call with other meteorologists, the NWS agreed and changed it back.

Therefore, the new top five snowstorms are as follows

  • Jan 26-27, 1967 23.0"
  • Jan 1-3, 1999 21.6"
  • Jan 31-Feb 2, 2011 21.2"
  • Jan 12-14, 1979 20.3"
  • March 25-26, 1930 19.2"
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