It's official: for the first time in recorded history, Chicago had no snow on the ground during the last two months of meterological winter (January and February):
Because the snow measurement is taken at 6 a.m. at O'Hare International Airport, small amounts of snow that may have fallen later in the day and melted were not recorded, said Amy Seeley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. This occurred Feb. 25 when there was a trace of snow and Jan. 30 when there was 2 mm. The weather service has been keeping data on snow on the ground for 146 years.
WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling said he believes the 146-year streak in Chicago is part of climate change and emphasized that it does not occur linearly, meaning that there is potential for cold winters in the future.
And Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel officially declared February the warmest-ever:
All those days with 60- and 70-degree [Fahrenheit] weather paid off – this February was the warmest February on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature for February was 4.7°C, 5.3°C above normal. It beat the old record of 4.4°C set back in 1998.
Yes. This is climate change. I've long predicted Chicago would benefit, even though on balance the world won't.