Snowfall Trends

Our statewide snowfall records in Illinois start in 1902. There is no long-term trend in snowfall since 1902. However, some decades were snowier than others, such as the 1910s, 1960s, and 1970s. In fact, the 1970s were the snowiest decade on record with an average snowfall of 27.2 inches.

Snowfall amounts dropped steeply with less year to year variability for much of the 1980s and into the early 2000s. However, snowfall amounts in the last 10 winters have been more variable. The winter of 2014 being about as snowy as the late 1970s, while the winters of 2017 and 2023 were among the top 10 least snowy on record. 

The snowiest winter on record was 1979 with 44.5 inches. Here are the 5 snowiest winters on record:

  • 1979 with 44.5 inches
  • 1978 with 44.4 inches
  • 1912 with 39.5 inches
  • 2014 with 39.4 inches
  • 1960 with 38.6 inches

Snowfall is accumulated from July 1 of the first year to June 30 of the second year. The second year is used in the plot and table (for example, 2020 refers to the 2019-2020 season).

Figure shows statewide average snowfall for Illinois between 1902 and 2023 (blue line). The red line shows the 10-year moving average snowfall, and the black line shows the 1991-2020 normal statewide average snowfall.

Snowfall Data

Snowfall data by year in inches is available by clicking the following link (download a separate Excel file). 

Current Conditions

Other Sources