While Chicago’s known as the Windy City, that lake breeze isn’t the only weather phenomenon that might take your breath away when you’re visiting our city. Does it snow in Chicago? Indeed, it does! Although the first measurable snowfall comes later than usual in some years, it definitely does snow in Chicago. If you’re visiting in the winter, take a moment to brush up on when it will snow in Chicago and how much snow will fall each month.

When Will it Snow in Chicago?

If you live here, you already know that in Chicago, how much snow falls each month can vary widely from year to year! Sometimes the first snow arrives in October, while other years see hardly a flurry through December. So how do meteorologists answer the question of when does it snow in Chicago? Generally, they predict snowfall off and on from November through March, with April getting the occasional dusting. Whenever it does snow in Chicago, be sure to take advantage of the Chicago snow on the area’s many great sledding hills!

Chicago Snow Totals by Year

In Chicago, how much snow falls now compared to previous years? With records going back to 1900, the National Weather Service has tracked how much snow falls in Chicago. Seasonally in the years from 1900-present, the average inches of snow in Chicago have annually ranged from 9.8 inches in 1920 – 1921 to 89.7 inches in 1978 – 1979. That’s quite a range of inches of snow in Chicago! Winter 2020 – 2021 got a total of 48.8, with the year prior getting quite a bit less, just 34.8 inches. Take a look at the annual inches of snow in Chicago over the last decade:

  • 2021 – 2022—32.8 in
  • 2020 – 2021—48.8 in
  • 2019 – 2020—34.8 in
  • 2018 – 2019—49.5 in
  • 2017 – 2018—36. in
  • 2016 – 2017—26.1 in
  • 2015 – 2016—31.2 in
  • 2014 – 2015—50.7 in
  • 2013 – 2014—82.0 in
  • 2012 – 2013—30.1 in

Here are the winter monthly snowfall ranges for winter 2020-2021:

  • November—0.7 inches of snowfall (normal = 1.8 inches)
  • December—2.8 inches of snowfall (normal = 7.6 inches)
  • January—21.9 inches of snowfall (normal = 11.3 inches)
  • February—21.6 inches of snowfall (normal = 10.7 inches)
  • March—1.8 inches of snowfall (normal = 5.5 inches)
  • April—none (normal = 1.3 inches)

Enjoy Winter Weather in Chicago!

Now that you know about the typical Chicago snow totals and when it will snow in Chicago, you can pack your parka and boots and prepare to witness the magic of Chicagoland in wintertime! Schedule a visit to the Skydeck this winter to see Chicago blanketed in snow from the most unique vantage point available. We’re here to help you plan your visit—contact us for details about dining on The Ledge, Skydeck engagement parties, and other special event options!