AccuWeather: Chicago to get lots of snow in winter

October 5, 2011 (CHICAGO) is predicting that between 50 to 58 inches of snow will fall on Chicago this winter, which is similar to last winter's total of 57.9 inches.

AccuWeather is predicting a punishing winter of storms and snow for the Midwest, with Chicago in nature's crosshairs.

"Towards the later part of the season, we may start to see a storm track evolve where the storms start tracking from the western Gulf of Mexico up through the Appalachians, and then we may start to see a couple of heavy hitters, something similar that we saw last year in February," said AccuWeather's Paul Pastelok.

A confluence of factors is conspiring to challenge the heartiest Midwestern sensibilities, long-range forecast specialists say, and get ready for a blizzard.

"By February we may have one significant storm-- 1 or 2 that may come up through the Ohio Valley," Pastelok said.

As we enjoy the glories of a Chicago fall, there is a palpable thud of realization that this can't last, and scenes like February's Blizzard of 2011 will soon be reality.

"I'm gonna enjoy today and then deal with that when the time comes," said Jyoti Lazaro, who was enjoying Wednesday's warm weather by dining outside.

At the beach, Chicagoans savored Wednesday's glories. But the medical community says the long-range forecast means taking steps now to ward off depression.

"Be aware, if they are feeling depressed, if they are feeling sad, if they can't function, and if they notice there's a pattern to it, see their healthcare providers, see a physician, don't be afraid to talk about it, because we have treatments available to make their life easier and better," said Dr. John Zajecka, director of the Treatment Research Center at Rush University Medical Center.

Or just roll with it.

"I love the cold weather," said beachgoer Sarah Squire.

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