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Brutal Winter Seen From Space

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compiled a slideshow of images from its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, showing the progression of winter storms and snow coverage from Jan. 1 to March 24, 2014, when much of the country was enduring a brutal winter. (Credit: NOAA/GOES)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compiled a slideshow of images from its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, showing the progression of winter storms and snow coverage from Jan. 1 to March 24, 2014, when much of the country was enduring a brutal winter. (Credit: NOAA/GOES)

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(CBS) – Even from miles above the Earth’s surface, it was clear this winter was one of the most severe we’ve ever experienced, and not just for Chicago.

A time-lapse video of satellite images recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites shows the progression of winter storms and snow cover from Jan. 1 through March 24, and it’s a stunning look at the wicked weather much of the country endured over those three months.

Over that time, 65.5 inches of snow fell at O’Hare International Airport, where Chicago’s official weather statistics are recorded — that’s nearly 5 1/2 feet of snow in less than three months, and some parts of the country had it much worse.

Overall, it was the third snowiest winter on record for Chicago, with slightly more than 80 inches of snow at O’Hare. The record was set in the winter of 1978-79, when Chicago got 89.7 inches

We could have had it worse. Buffalo has had more than 84 inches of snow since the start of 2014 alone, and more than 10 feet overall the entire winter.

As far as temperatures, it was the third coldest winter in history for Chicago. The average temperature was 18.8 degrees between December and February, a few tenths of a degree behind 1978-79 (18.4) and 1903-04 (18.3).

Chicago also had the most days with temperatures of zero or colder, with at least 26 days when the temperature was zero or below. There haven’t been that many days so cold since 1884-85.

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