The Biggest November Snowstorm To Ever Hit Illinois

In Illinois, the winter months can be extremely severe. Chicago has a cause for being known as “The Windy City. “Because of the snow and strong gusts, Thrillist described Illinois winters as “occasionally Siberian-like.” It is located in the United States’ Midwest, an area known for having severe winters. Over thirty-eight inches of snow fall occur in Illinois each year. For Chicago, the typical monthly snowfall averages are as follows:

November- 1.8 inches
December- 7.6 inches
January- 11.3 inches
February- 10.7 inches
March- 5.5 inches
April- 1.3 inches

Though those were in January, Illinois has experienced its fair share of hazardous snowstorms, including The Blizzard of 67 and The Blizzard of 79. In Illinois, January is the month with the most snowfall. What is Illinois’s largest November snowfall, then? Continue reading to learn more.

What Is The Biggest November Snowstorm In Illinois?

In Illinois, the largest November blizzard occurred more than a century ago.Twelve inches of snow fell on the Windy City of Chicago during a snowstorm that struck on November 25–26, 1895.But it wasn’t limited to Chicago. slightly over a foot of snow fell on the Quad Cities region, and slightly under a foot fell on Rockford, Illinois. The National Weather Service reported that month in 1895 saw 14.5 inches of snowfall on average. Apart from the statistics provided by the National Weather Service, there aren’t many stories of the snowstorm that occurred on November 25–26, 1895. Nevertheless, Illinois experienced a snowstorm akin to this one more than a century later.

The Snowstorm of November 20-21, 2015

The Chicago area received 11.2 inches of snowfall during the November 20–21, 2015, snowstorm that swept through Illinois. It was Illinois’s first snowfall of the year! Approximately 4.2 inches of rain fell on the first day at O’Hare International Airport, while 7 inches fell on the second. Over two days, the weather resulted in the cancellation of nearly 350 flights.

Many other cities outside of Chicago also suffered greatly. During the two days of the snowstorm, eight inches of snow fell on Rockford, Illinois. With nineteen inches, Mundelein, Illinois in Lake County received the most snowfall. With eighteen inches, Capron, Illinois in Boone County trailed Mundelein in the state rankings. The average rainfall in the northern Illinois region surrounding the cities of Waukegan and Rockford ranged from twelve to eighteen inches. Chicago, Rockford, Moline, and other northern Illinois communities had single digit temperatures and low double digits.

What Is The Difference Between The November 1895 Snowstorm And Other Significant Illinois Snowstorms?

Now, this snowstorm in November 1895 was a big one. The Illinois region received an average of twelve inches of snowfall as a result. In comparison with other snowstorms in Illinois, how is this one?

The Great Blizzard of 67

The Great Blizzard of 67 remains the worst blizzard in Illinois history to this day. On January 25, 1967, just after five in the morning, snow fell, and it stopped around ten in the morning on January 26. The Illinois region received 23 inches of snowfall overall during the Great Blizzard. It was sixty-five degrees, a record high for that day, just before the storm hit.

Eight inches of snow had already fallen on O’Hare International Airport by midday on the 25th. The airport was closed due to the heavy snowfall and gusty weather. The early closure of schools and workplaces did not improve traffic issues. There were one thousand buses and more than twenty thousand cars trapped on the roadways. Helicopters brought food and blankets to the stranded drivers and medical supplies to the hospitals. On January 30, O’Hare Airport reopened. On the 31st, most schools reopened.

January 1-3, 1999 A snowfall

In 1999, Illinois experienced a two-day snowstorm that started on New Year’s Day. “Packing high winds and dropping 21.6 inches of snow-closed roads, [hundreds of flights cancelled and thousands stranded] at home, hotels, and shelters across the Chicago area,” the Chicago Tribune stated.

Groundhog Day Blizzard

The Groundhog Day Blizzard was a severe blizzard that struck the United States and Canada from January 31, 2011, to February 3, 2011. The storm moved up from New Mexico into Texas and up into the New England region of the United States and Canada, bringing with it cold air, mixed precipitation, wind, and heavy snowfall. Winds in Chicago reached above sixty miles per hour, while the Windy City received 21.2 inches of snowfall. More than 1,300 flights at O’Hare and Midway airports. Over 900 cars were reported to be trapped on Lake Shore Drive on February 2nd by city officials.

The iconic Wrigley Field was partially destroyed by the strong winds. All the big-box businesses saw unprecedented sales on the storm’s first day. Numerous academic institutions canceled courses. More than thirty-nine thousand state employees disregarded the state government’s directives and skipped work. Eleven deaths have been reported by February 3rd. Numerous stranded drivers were saved by 500 Illinois National Guard troopers on Interstates 80, 290, 57, and 55. There were more than eighty car accidents during the snowfall. On February 3rd, reports of eleven fatalities from the snowstorm were made.

The additional snowfall totals at Chicago-Rockford Airport and Midway International Airport are 20.9 and 14.3 inches, respectively. Incredibly, Roselle and Medinah received twenty-seven inches of snow during the storm. Peak gusts at O’Hare International Airport and the lakefront have been recorded at 61 and 67 miles per hour, respectively.

The Great Blizzard of 79

A two-day snowfall that fell on January 13 and 14, 1979, completely blanketed Illinois in white. There was 20.3 inches of snowfall overall as a result! It closed down transportation routes over the majority of Northern Illinois. Greyhound buses mostly did not arrive at their destinations. The CTA buses kept running, but they were quite slow. The heavy snowfall caused the closure of Interstates 80 and 55.

At the time, O’Hare International Airport was closing for the sixth time in its existence. Numerous travelers were left stranded. Not to add, a lot of the hotels located fifteen minutes from the airport were booking up fast. The storm was strong enough to cause structures to topple over. Thankfully, none of the reported building collapses resulted in injuries.

After the snowstorm passed, further issues arose. Even after much effort, many Illinois municipalities were still unable to completely block off the key thoroughfares. At the time, residents of Chicago lodged complaints against their mayor for failing to prepare for the removal of the roads. “How come cities like Minnesota, Montreal, and Toronto can clear off two to three feet of snow in less than 24 hours, but Chicago can’t?” a civilian asked the CBS news station during an interview.

In brief

More than a century ago, Illinois had its biggest November snowfall. Twelve inches of snow fell on the Windy City of Chicago during a snowstorm that struck on November 25–26, 1895.Numerous nearby cities were also impacted by the significant snowfall. slightly over a foot of snow fell on the Quad Cities region, and slightly under a foot fell on Rockford, Illinois. Sadly, there aren’t many references or publications that go into detail about how Illinois was impacted by the snowstorm at that particular time.

Over a century later, the most similar event to this November snowfall occurred. On November 20 and November 21, 2015, Illinois saw a blizzard. The Chicago region received 11.2 inches of snow as a result. It was also Illinois’s first blizzard of that year and the state’s first snowstorm in November ever! Approximately 4.2 inches of rain fell on the first day at O’Hare International Airport, while 7 inches fell on the second. The snowstorm caused nearly 350 flights to be canceled in only two days.