Chicago Set to Break 73-year-old Snowless Record

Chicago residents have managed to avoid one winter chore almost altogether this year: shoveling. The city perched on the shores of Lake Michigan, ever braced for a harsh winter, is set to break a decades-old record for lack of snow.

On Wednesday, assuming forecasts hold, the city will have its 320th day without an inch of snow, breaking a record set in the winter of 1939-1940, according to Accuweather. A dusting in Chicago on Sunday brought the snow total for the whole winter to a meager 1.3 inches.

"This is a wake-up call of how we may have to adapt," said Brant Miller, chief meteorologist at NBC's Chicago affiliate, referring to the process of climate change that contributes to the unusual weather. "It's not going to be business as usual going forward."

Chicago winters typically produce 11.5 inches by this time of the year, NBC Chicago reported. Wednesday started out sunny and in the 30s, and was predicted to reach a high of 43 degrees, with no precipitation in the forecast, according to Accuweather.

The lack of snow this season is due in part to a split jet stream that has pushed storm systems around the city -- to the north and south.

Also, temperatures have been balmy, at least by Chicago standards. The season's lowest reading so far this winter was 10 degrees, still far above the average winter low of minus 9 degrees. 

The warmer weather has meant more rain than snow in the Chicago area, including nearly 2 inches of rain in the run-up to Christmas.

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