The nightmare before Christmas: Snow buries DeKalb on Halloween

By Noah Thornburgh

DeKALB — It’s the most wonderful time of the year; Northern Illinois woke up to a blanket of snow Halloween morning.

DeKalb climate records show today is the only Halloween with snowfall since at least 1965.

Dave Changnon, professor of climatology, said the 1.7 inch snow measurement taken at 7 a.m. bumped this October into the sixth snowiest since DeKalb climate records began in 1895. The National Weather Service reported 2.3 inches of snow in DeKalb as of 10 a.m.

“To get a multi-inch snow event on the last day of October is a remarkable thing,” he said.

A deep trough in the jet stream, a narrow jet of strong winds high in the atmosphere, caused cold air from Canada to sit over Illinois. That pool of cold air will move into the northeast over the next few days, according to forecast models. The weather pattern is causing anomalies across the country.

“Every once in a while, you get a really unusual pattern,” Changnon said. “You think it’s bad here; my son sent a picture from his patio in Colorado — they have 18 inches out there.”

Following the fourth wettest September on record, the Halloween snowfall makes this September and October the second wettest since 1895. Changnon said DeKalb is 20 to 22 degrees colder than the typical average of around 50 degrees.

Andy Raih, director of streets and facililties for the city, said he’s not happy about the timing, but the department was prepared. Six plows were loaded up with salt and the others were rigged to push snow. Raih said the plows finished clearing by about 4 p.m.

Raih said he doesn’t expect any problems with wet roads in the morning. Once the flurries clear up, the wind will air dry the roads, he said.

NIU Parking Services recommended students stay careful and cautious while snow is on the ground.

Forecast models show a chance of rain or snow late Friday night. Temperatures are forecasted to remain in the 30s.