The 10 Worst Snowstorms In Chicago

Cars are buried in snow on Lake Shore Drive after the Blizzard of 2011. (Credit: "Rock"/User Photo)

Cars are buried in snow on Lake Shore Drive after the Blizzard of 2011. (Credit: “Rock”/User Photo)

Click here for an updated list

CHICAGO (CBS) — Here are the top 10 snowstorms in Chicago history, according to the National Weather Service:

1. 23.0 inches Jan 26-27, 1967
2. 21.6 inches Jan 1-3, 1999
3. 21.2 inches Feb. 1-2, 2011
4. 20.3 inches Jan 13-14, 1979
5. 19.2 inches Mar 25-26, 1930
6. 16.2 inches Mar 7-8, 1931
7. 15.0 inches Dec 17-20, 1929
8. 14.9 inches Jan 30, 1939
9. 14.9 inches Jan 6-7, 1918
10. 14.3 inches Mar 25-26, 1970

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  • Tony Gronski


  • Clarence Lum

    Great memories………..

  • Master Blaster

    I love snow the more we get the better I like it

    • brent

      You are young, aren’t you?

  • Brent

    It’s hard to know what to believe when it comes to these storms. Only time will tell. Dramatic weather predictions increase ratings and heavy duty spending. Sad but true.
    Rmember the plastic sheets and duct tape fear mongering by Rumsfeld and Cheney?
    Just be safe and stay calm!

  • Vince Drago

    I remember 1999, I was coming back from a wrestling tournament in MI. It was so bad there, there were expressway closures. I’m not looking forward to this (all of the shoveling)…

  • Jack

    The worst is only 23 inches? Weak. NW IN gets that a few times a year.

    • Average Guy

      NW Indiana is in the middle of nowhere. Chicago is a sprawling city with homes feet apart of one another. NW Indiana has fields dotted with small towns were six inches of snow is an afternoon breeze. Six inches of snow will shut down a city the size of Chicago, big difference.

      • greg from phoenix

        NW Indiana in the middle of nowhere? It’s closer to the loop than most of the suburbs in Illinois.

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      I hear a 5 mile wide band of lake effect snow is similar to a blizzard that hits a few tens of millions of people.


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  • greg from phoenix

    I thought that April 1st, 1975 would be on this list. Maybe because it wasn’t during winter?

    • Carol

      I was looking for that one too. It was a lot of wet, heavy snow!

  • Luis

    Looking up from Miami Fl., I was there in 1967. Lived on the west side near Cicero and I tell you the only thing that I could see was the WLS radio antenna ball. Wish you success in getting through this one….it looks bad.

    Oh by the way, say hi to Megan Glaros. She was down here for a while at one of our TV stations……nice lady and very happy all the time…

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  • ron

    Even though these are single storm records, There were years where the totals were much higher. Have to check the date, but I think it was 1975 that the snow storms came one after the other and with the lake effect snow we had somewhere around 40″ of snow on the ground at one time and we had to shovel the roofs off because you could hear them groaning under the load.

  • J

    I remember the 1967 blizzard. Lived at 32nd Pl and Morgan. Was about 9 years old. It was fun.

  • Laura Willettee Bullocks

    Omg I told my daughter the other day that the last time CPS were closed was probably when I was in grammar school and I see 1967 as the worst snowstorm and I was in 1st grade then.

  • Donna

    I wasn’t here for 1967 blizzard, but I do remember the blizzard of 1979 and 1999. Scary memories. Can you believe my company still expects us to show up for work. We are just a newspaper, you won’t be able to find your newspaper on your drivewway. What are they thinking? They won’t pay if my car ends up in the ditch somewhere. They won’t even send out help for us.

  • Jana Santucci-Stilphen

    I was married on January 2nd 1999, so I remember that blizzard well. It was a terrible start to a terrible marriage. Think someone up above was trying to tell me something!

  • Yvette BG

    I was born in the midst of the blizzard of 1967. Hench, my mom ended up have me…her Valentine’s Baby. In some ways I’m looking forward to seeing the snow expected now in 2011 to see what she experienced. Mom passed away 18yrs ago, but my dad told me what made the 1967 blizzard worse than that of 1999 or expected now is they didn’t have all the warnings, preparedness, and technologies we now have. Stay safe!

  • robertg222

    Remember that unlike the snow in the past this snow is all caused by global warming.
    It’s time to repent to our lord Al Gore.

    • Vetus

      Ok, let me explain what you seem to not understand. Global warming is the effect of the affect of the burning off of fossil fuels and the use of certain chemicals to the ozone layer. So the effect Global Warming, would affect the climate. Now, snow in the winter in Chicago is common. So, this would not be an effect of climate change. Therefore, you should stop referring to Al Gore and god as being the same or, in the same sentence. People like you who failed or received a ā€œDā€ in science may start believing what you post.

    • Mike from Evergreen Park

      robertg666, please take that stuff to Thank you.

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  • David Sullivan

    OMG the picture of the police car is a downgraded version of the one i took today. I saw a chicago police cruiser stuck and abandon… while one guy put his cute dog on it and i took a pic… how do i submit it?

  • Melrob 9880

    I remember the 1967, 1979 blizzards. I was 10 in the 1967 billzard, jumping off the reailroad tracks into snowdrifts that were 10-12 feet high. My parents used a sled to go to the jewel and to get oil for the stove. Yes, there were still oil stoves in 1967. In the 1979 snow storm, I was working at of all places WBBM. Nobody could go home. Now I am living in Colorado and the Worst for me was the 2003 Blizzard were we go 66″ of snow over a period of 3 days. It just kept snowing and snowing. Watch out for thefreeze that will be next, our low last night was -20 with a windchill of -33. Supposed to get to 35 tomorrow,

  • kcoyote

    The 1967 blizzard when we all were walking down the major streets (mine was Ogden Ave. in Lyons) pulling sleds to the Kroger, is one of my favorite memories from childhood. I will never forget how quiet it was, and how beautiful. When we reached the Kroger, the shelves were nearly empty, adding to the surreality of it all. We jumped off roofs into big snow drifts. Basically, the world was the province of the kids and any adults who decided to unplug and go out and play. Granted, I didn’t have to work or drive anywhere, but honestly, I still love it when the snow and wind bring us all to a stop. A reminder that nature’s power is STILL greater than ours, and we need to respect it. It took me 3 hours to drive home and I decided not to risk Lake Shore Drive….looks like it was a good decision! I’m grateful for the opportunity to unplug for a day or two and enjoy being home. The Rogers Park beaches are like miniature Himalaya. Way cool.

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