empty snow bench chicago navy pier

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! While the 2021 winter’s first measurable snowfall was later in the year than usual, it definitely does snow in Chicago. If you’re visiting in the winter, take a moment to brush up on when it snows in Chicago and how much it snows in Chicago.

When Does it Snow in Chicago?

In winter 2021/2022, the first measurable snowfall of the year didn’t happen until late December, about six weeks later than usual, although there were days from mid-November through December when snow flurries dusted the ground. But 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 of snow. Take advantage of the Chicago snow on the area’s many great sledding hills! Here are the winter monthly snowfall ranges for winter 2020-2021

How Many Inches of Snow in Chicago?

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 34.8 inches. Take a look at the annual inches of snow in Chicago over the last decade:

  • 2011—19.8 inches
  • 2012—30.1 inches
  • 2013—82 inches
  • 2014—50.7 inches
  • 2015—31.2 inches
  • 2016—26.1 inches
  • 2017—36.1 inches
  • 2018—49.5 inches
  • 2019—34.8 inches
  • 2020—48.8 inches

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 Chicago in Winter!

Now that you know when it snows in Chicago and how much it snows in Chicago, you can pack your parka and boots and prepare to witness the magic of Chicagoland in wintertime! Make sure you schedule a visit to the Skydeck when there’s a chance of snow to see the city blanketed from the most unique vantage point available. It’s how the city really shines!