Could Remarkably Snowy October Offer Clues to Upcoming Winter Snowfall?

October, 2019 was truly a remarkable month, one that started out with back-to-back days in the 80s, only to finish with record snowfall on Halloween! With the book now closed on the month, it goes in the books as the 2nd snowiest October in recorded history. With 4.2" of snowfall recorded at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport, October, 2019 trails only October of 1929 in the snowfall department. That month saw 5.0" of snowfall.

Many have asked if the snowy October will have any bearing on the winter that lies ahead. In combing through our vast database of weather records, we've come to the conclusion that it doesn't offer much of a clue about what the upcoming months will portend. In our research, we identified the five snowiest Octobers on record, and went on to see what the final snowfall tallies were by winter's end. Two of the five winters experienced significantly more snow than normal, two of the five saw significantly less snow than normal, and one saw snowfall very close to normal. What can we conclude from our findings? The only thing we can conclude is that a snowy October does not guarantee a snowy winter. It's entirely possible winter may still end up snowy, and forecasts do tend to lean that way, but the jury is still very much out.

We've now entered November, which is, historically, our fastest cooling month of the year. Normal high temperatures in the 50s to start the month will plunge all the way into the upper 30s by month's end. Furthermore, a normal November sees a bit more in the way of snowfall, about 1.7" in an average year. However, we've known Novembers to be remarkably snowy in years past. Take last year as a prime example, as it was our snowiest November on record, with 15.8" recorded!

The pattern over the coming days, though, is a much quieter one, with a few small chances for precipitation here or there, but significant rain or snowfall does not appear to be in the cards at this time.