Have you had the feeling lately that something’s missing?
They’re playing Christmas music at stores and on the radio, houses all over town have their decorations out, and Santa Claus has been making appearances.
But northern Illinois is in the most prolonged snow drought ever recorded. It’s been almost 300 days since the last measurable snowfall was recorded in the Chicago region, and this is the latest in the season that snow has ever occurred.
If the forecast is to be trusted, it looks as though that drought will end today. Forecasters say a winter storm headed this way is expected to blast McHenry County with wind and snow.
If you can avoid traveling after 5 p.m. today, avoid it. If you absolutely have to travel during that time, be patient, expect delays, and make sure to take extra care. That means leaving extra stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, and reducing your speed as necessary. High winds are predicted today, so be wary of blowing and drifting snow, especially when driving on country roads.
Many of us also will need to dust off the shovels and fire up our snow throwers. It wouldn’t hurt to make sure that they work before the storm hits.
The snow drought isn’t as grave a concern as the summer drought our area recently endured. We’ve had precipitation – including that gloomy Saturday last week – but nothing to make it look a Winter Wonderland out there.
This is northern Illinois. It’s supposed to snow in the wintertime. We usually have a snowfall of an inch or more by Dec. 2, on average.
The snowmobile trails are ready and marked. The sleds have been hanging patiently on the wall. And there are whole communities of snow people just waiting to be born.
Although some of us might find it inconvenient, it’s about time for Mother Nature to do her thing.
Please be safe and enjoy our area’s first real taste of winter.