Top of the morning, Dec. 19, 2013

Something to get your day going, courtesy of executive editor Jim Rossow.

Winter officially kicks in Saturday. No better time to hit up state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey for a by-the-numbers look at what has been a frosty start to the holiday season. For a blizzard photo out of the N-G archives, check out our Facebook page here

2010

The last time C-U enjoyed a White Christmas. With ground covered from last weekend's snowfall, chances are it happens again Wednesday. "We have a good shot of it," said Angel, who studies such things. From 1981 to 2010, Christmas in C-U has been white 31 percent of the time. "It's higher than 31 percent this year," Angel said.

9.7

Inches of snow so far in December, well above the average for the month (6.6). "Throw in the half-inch we got in November and the dusting in October, that gets us over 10 inches this year," Angel said. From 1981 to '10, the seasonal average in C-U was 23.2 inches. "We're already halfway there with much of the winter season ahead of us," Angel said.

15

Inches of snow that fell in C-U on Jan. 1-2, 1999. While last weekend's totals (8.1 inches) didn't approach the single-storm area record, it got the shovels going earlier than a year ago. "The first significant snowfall didn't occur until March," Angel said. March Madness indeed. On March 24, when John Groce's Illini were losing to Miami in the NCAA tournament, a storm dumped 11.8 in inches of snow on C-U.

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JimOATSfan wrote on December 19, 2013 at 6:12 am

1st

The day the seasons officially begin in Australia. That's right: Dec1st is SUMMER ?!? (I am an Illinois grad and still a bit confused about this Xmas in summer bizzo); Mar1st is Autumn; Jun1st is Winter; and Sep1st is Spring.

For those that might care, I think Melboure AU is like Boston but ZERO snow! They even have Starbucks 8-).

Happy holidays to all!