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NWS: Snowfall so far less than a third of last winter’s total

A man shovels snow in Old Town on January 8. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Halfway through the winter, snowfall totals and cold temperatures hardly compare to Chicago’s brutal winter of 2014, though temperatures have been slightly below normal, forecasters say.

The 10.8 inches of snow measured in Chicago through Jan. 15 are dwarfed by last year’s number at this point, when nearly 3 feet of white stuff had piled up, according to National Weather Service statistics.

About 13 inches is normal at the midpoint of the meteorological winter (December though February), forecasters said.

High temperatures so far have averaged 26.3 degrees, compared to the seasonal average of 26.7 degrees. And while below normal, it beats last year’s average high of just 21.4 degrees.

Chicagoans have had to endure fewer days with sub-zero temperature readings, with just five compared to 11 at this time last year. Three such arctic blasts are normal halfway though the season, forecasters said.

Those snowfall totals aren’t expected to get much higher this week, with less than a 50 percent chance of light snow or sleet through Thursday night. Temperatures will also remain relatively warm, with highs at or above 32 degrees for the rest of the week.