Chicago gets first 1-inch snowfall of winter

January 25, 2013

The Associated Press and Lewis Wallace

Chicago didn't get much snow Friday, but it was record-breaking nonetheless.

The 1.1 inches that settled on Windy City streets and sidewalks marked the latest first seasonal snowfall of at least an inch in the Midwest metropolis since at least 1884, when records were first kept, National Weather Service forecaster Matt Friedlein said. The previous record was set on Jan. 17, 1899.

Friday also broke Chicago's longest streak of consecutive days without an inch of snow. The city went 335 days, or about 11 months, without at least an inch, Friedlein said.

For some people, Friday's snow was significant for another reason: They finally got to work.

"This is the first time we've had a blade down this year," said Clara Mark, a dispatcher at Chicago Snow Removal Services, which plows parking lots at condominium complexes, strip malls and factories.

"It's been rough," she said. "Last year was a bust, too. We only plowed three times."

But Mark said Friday's snowfall also was bittersweet for drivers "crying for work." Some clients don't want their parking lots plowed until there's two inches of snow.

On a related note, if you want to get inspired to build your own snowmen, come on down to Navy Pier Snow Days, where sculptors are building with snow: