The snowstorm still battering the area is already the 3rd biggest on record in Chicago and could edge into 2nd place before the day ends.
As of 9 a.m., 19.5 inches of snow was recorded at O’Hare International Airport, putting the storm ahead of the infamous storm of January 1979 that left 18.8 inches and was widely considered a factor in the mayoral race.
With one last band of heavy storm still moving into the area, the storm could overtake the 21.6 inches of snow recorded at O’Hare in 1999.
“It’s going to be real close,” said Eric Lenning, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
The storm has already set another record: Feb. 1 was the snowiest February day recorded in Chicago.
Asked if the storm was matching predictions, another weather service meteorologist Gino Izzi said, “As it turns out, I think it’s pretty safe to say we nailed it.”
Following are the five top winter storms to hit Chicago:
1. 23.0 inches on Jan. 26-27, 1967
2. 21.6 inches on Jan .1-3, 1999
3. 19.5 inches on Feb. 1-2, 2011 (and counting)
4. 19.2 inches on March 25-26, 1930
5. 18.8 inches on Jan. 13-14, 1979
(Source: Chicago Tribune)