The blizzard this week was the third worst blizzard to hit Chicago since records have been kept, but records for La Salle County are not available.
According to the National Weather Service, 13.5 inches of snow fell in Marseilles, 11.5 in Peru and 12 inches in Earlville. The measurements are submitted to the National Weather Service by approved spotters. There was no measurement provided for Streator.
The spotter for Ottawa measured six inches of snow four miles southwest of Ottawa. A spokesman for the National Weather Service said the measurement might have been taken in a low spot. At any rate, the spokesman said drifts can affect measurement. Also, "thunder snow," in which snow is accompanied by lightning and thunder — as occurred Tuesday — can cause snowfall amounts to vary within relatively short distances. The Service does not have a measurement for Ottawa proper.
The storm Tuesday-Wednesday was classified as a blizzard based on wind speed and diminished visibility.
Overall, snowfall in La Salle County was generally within the 12-to-15-inch range. The spokesman said the National Weather Service does not have historical records for La Salle County. However, for Chicago, the following are the top 10 heaviest snowfalls since records were first maintained in the 1800s:
1. Jan. 26-27, 1967: 23 inches
2. Jan 1-3, 1999: 21.6 inches
3. Feb. 1-2, 2011: 20.2 inches
4. Mar 25-26, 1930: 19.2 inches
5. Jan 13-14, 1979: 18.8 inches
6. Mar 7-8, 1931: 16.2 inches
7. Dec 17-20, 1929: 15.0 inches
8. Jan 30, 1939: 14.9 inches
9. Jan 6-7, 1918: 14.9 inches
10. Mar 25-26, 1970: 14.3 inches