4 Insights on Jan. 1 Snow Storm -- 5.2 Inches In Elgin; Big Freeze Coming

4 Insights on Jan. 1 Snow Storm — 5.2 Inches In Elgin; Big Freeze Coming

The first widespread accumulating snow event of several inches for the winter season occurred on New Year’s Day of 2022.

Presented below are some insights about the weather event and a quick look at the week ahead — which includes dangerous cold on Thursday.

Fast Facts

  • The official snowfall for Chicago was 4.1 inches observed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. This was the snowiest New Year’s Day in Chicago since 1985.
  • The official snowfall for Rockford was 4.8 inches observed at Chicago Rockford International Airport.
  • Other snowfall amounts include up to 6.5 inches in Hoffman Estates (northwest Chicago suburb).
  • This event was not only snow, heavy at times, but also blowing snow especially in far northern Illinois. This reduced visibility marked in places, and also led to more widespread hazardous road conditions.

Kane County Totals

Elgin 1 SSW                  5.2 in    0800 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Elburn                       5.0 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Elgin 3 W                    4.0 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
2 W Sugar Grove              4.0 in    0815 AM 01/02   Public
North Aurora 1 ENE           3.7 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Campton Hills 3 NNE          3.3 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
St. Charles 1 ENE            3.2 in    0800 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Sugar Grove 1 NNW            3.0 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Batavia                      3.0 in    0600 AM 01/02   UCOOP
Batavia 1 NW                 2.8 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Geneva 2 WNW                 2.8 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Batavia 3.4 WSW              2.7 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Geneva 1 SSW                 2.7 in    0730 AM 01/02   COCORAHS
Aurora 3 WSW                 2.5 in    0700 AM 01/02   COCORAHS

4 Insights From The National Weather Service

Digging beyond a map of snowfall totals, there were heavier snow rates at times, blowing snow, and impacts to travel, all of these most persistent in far northern Illinois.

They were less so along/south of I-88 where conditions were not necessarily always in-sync.

There are many spectrums of snowfall dependent on flake size and intensity, and both of those were more variable over a large part of our area to get snow totals on the higher end of the forecast range.

NWS forecasters know that forecast specific amounts can be difficult and not always telling. That’s why they message ranges and often only closer to an event.

Insight

While snow totals tend to be focused on by many with winter events, there is much that influences how it will impact society. Those listed on the final image are key to keep in mind ahead of and during events.

Quick Look Ahead

  • Today — Sunny, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as -4. South southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
  • Tonight — Mostly clear, with a temperature rising to around 17 by 5am. Wind chill values as low as zero. South southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.
  • Tuesday — Increasing clouds, with a high near 33. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
  • Tuesday Night — Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Breezy, with a south wind 15 to 20 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.
  • Wednesday — A chance of flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 22. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
  • Wednesday Night — Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3.
  • Thursday — A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 10.
  •  Thursday Night — Mostly cloudy, with a low around -6.
  • Friday — Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 8.
  • Friday Night — Mostly cloudy, with a low around -1.
  • Saturday — Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28.
  • Saturday Night — A slight chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18.
  • Sunday — A slight chance of snow. Mostly sunny, with a high near 26.

SOURCE: NWS Chicago