Where's the snow? Chicago sees less than 1 inch in January 2017

BARTLETT, Ill. (WLS) -- If you're one of those people who loves snow, January was a very disappointing month. Less than an inch fell in the Chicago area over the last 30 days.

At Villa Olivia in Bartlett, the snow has been flying nonstop for the past several days.

Snowmakers blow snow to coat the hills of the popular ski hill, but the lack of natural snow and mild temps the past six weeks has slowed business.

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"We started off with a great holiday session when the kids are out of school for Christmas break. And then January as certainly dropped off a bit because of the weather," Villa Olivia Superintendent Pete Pope said.

But the big base of snow created in early December has helped sustain skiing since then. And the man-made snow has helped, but natural snow is what draws in the crowds.

"We really like to get some natural snow because it gets people thinking about skiing and snowboarding and snow tubing," Pope said.

Another business that would like to see natural snow is the hardware store. Piles of salt are stacked high and snow blowers lined up ready for the next big snow. The Ace Hardware store in Roselle has lots of winter equipment in stock.

"We definitely have plenty here, more than prepared for a normal Chicago winter to start," store manager Zak Malawy said.

Until that next snow storm, sleds and shovels will be waiting.

"As a normal person living in Chicago you hope for a winter like this, but when you're working in the hardware business it really does impact us directly," Malawy said.

So how long has it been since we've had a good snow? Dec 17 was the last time we had 1 inch of snow - 48 days ago.

Surprisingly, we are not too far from the seasonal average. The Chicago area has seen over 18 inches so far this winter, with most of that coming in early December. That's only 3 inches away from our normal value up to this point in the season.
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