December 9 Update:
The Omaha snowless streak has continued through today, bringing the new record to 289 days, 5 beyond the old record.
The Lincoln streak has also extended through today, reaching 300 days.
The Norfolk NE streak ended on December 7 (Friday) with 0.5", missing the record.
Milwaukee has had no snow so far today, which will break the record if it extends to midnight. With the temperature of 37° and light drizzle at 7 pm CST, that seems likely.
The Des Moines record streak ended today at 279 days with 1.4" of snow.
On December 7, the WGN Chicago Weather Center blog reported:
As of Friday evening the steak of days without measurable (0.1 inch) snow at Chicago's official O'Hare International Airport observation site had reached 278 - the last measurable snow occurring back on March 4th. Chicago's record longest consecutive day period without measurable snow (since 1871) was 280 days set back in 1994.Chicago has received no measurable snow so far today, so it's likely that the record will at least be tied.
The record warmest year to date in U.S. climate history and the ongoing Midwest drought have combined to produce record longest snowless streaks at several locations. The image above from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab (click to enlarge) shows virtually no snow cover in North America south of the Canadian border with the U.S. as of yesterday, December 6.
From the National Weather Service:
Omaha last recorded measurable snowfall on February 24, 2012, with 0.2 inches. The streak of 284 days since that date is tied for the longest snow-free streak on record at Omaha as of December 4, and the streak will be extended at least for the next couple of days. The previous record of 284 days ended on December 30, 2006, which was the latest date of the first measurable snow on record in Omaha. Snowfall records in Omaha go back to the winter of 1884-85, with two missing years (1996-97 and 1997-98).In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, today will tie the record for second longest streak. If it lasts through Sunday, it will break the record:
Lincoln last recorded measurable snowfall on February 13, 2012, with 1.1 inches. The streak of 295 days since that date is tied for the longest snow-free streak on record at Lincoln as of December 4, and the streak will be extended at least for the next couple of days. The previous record of 295 days ended on November 27, 2004. Snowfall records in Lincoln go back to the winter of 1948-49, with one missing year (1996-97).
Norfolk last recorded measurable snowfall on February 24, 2012, with 1.0 inches. The streak of 284 days since that date is the third longest snow-free streak on record at Norfolk as of December 4, and the streak will be extended at least for the next couple of days. The record of 298 days ended on January 13, 2007, which was the latest date of the first measurable snow on record in Norfolk. Partial snowfall records in Norfolk go back to the winter of 1893-94, with complete records beginning in 1946-47.
The long streak without measurable snowfall is due to a combination of ongoing drought conditions and record warmth. 2012 remains the warmest year to date on record at Omaha and Norfolk and the 3rd warmest on record in Lincoln. Also, 2012 is the 2nd driest year to date in Norfolk, the 7th driest year to date in Lincoln, and the 20th driest year to date in Omaha.
Total snowfall for the calendar year 2012 to date in Omaha is 12.8 inches, which is the 5th lowest on record for a calendar year (of all the complete years). For Lincoln, the total snowfall for the calendar year 2012 to date is 13.9 inches, which is also the 5th lowest on record for a calendar year. At Norfolk, the total snowfall for the calendar year 2012 to date is 7.2 inches, which is the lowest on record for a calendar year, in years with complete records.
As of Thursday, December 6th, Milwaukee has gone 277 days since the last day with measurable snow, which is the 3rd longest streak on record. The last time Milwaukee had measurable snow was on March 4, 2012, when 0.9 inches was measured.On Tuesday, December 4, the NWS at Des Moines, Iowa, tweeted:
Milwaukee will be able to add more days to the streak, since there are only small chances of snow this weekend, with better chances for rain, given the mild temperatures that are forecast.
If Milwaukee makes it through today, with no measurable snow, that will tie for the second longest streak on record (278 days, set in 1908).
If Milwaukee makes it through Saturday, December 8th, with no measurable snow, that will tie for the longest streak on record (279 days, set in 1999).
Finally, if Milwaukee makes it through Sunday, December 9th, with no measurable snow, that will establish the longest streak on record.
The latest date for the first measurable snow in a winter season in the climate record for Milwaukee is December 26, 1888, when 0.1 inches of snow fell. The latest first one inch or greater snowfall in a winter season was on January 20, 1889, when 3.5 inches of snow fell. Thus, both these records occurred in the winter of 1888-1889.