Although Chicago is known for pretty harsh winters, Illinois comes in at a modest 36th place on the list of US states with deepest snow cover ever recorded: 41 inches measured in 1900 and 1979. In comparison, the deepest snow cover in the US was exactly 11 times the Illinois record: a whopping 451 inches measured on the western slopes of California's Sierra Nevada.
This year, Chicago actually set a record with 335 days without measurable snow on the ground, shattering the previous record of 280 days. It started snowing very late in the season, but winter storm Rocky that blanketed parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas a week ago arrived in our area last Tuesday. It steadily snowed for almost 24 hours, and we got about 10 inches on the ground. It started as heavy wet snow, also dubbed "heart-attack" snow because of unintended consequences for people underestimating the weight of shoveling this stuff. It did create interesting sculptures though, with the snow sticking like plaster.
The snow shovelers could finally put their toys to good use - they were starting to look out of place, driving around uselessly for 3 months with their huge snow ploughs mounted on their trucks and SUVs.
Meteorologically, spring kicked in on Friday. But today we were hit by Saturn (who comes up with these names for winter storm systems anyway?), and we have another 8 inches on top of the 6 or so inch left from Rocky last week. Saturn again brought late-season heart-attack snow, and put our hopes for warmer weather in the fridge for now. On the flip side, the North Shore turned magically white, and the snow plowers are happily reinstating their position, perhaps not as King Winter, but at least as Princes of Spring.