We’ve already noticed the days have been getting shorter, but with the end of Daylight Saving Time the loss of daylight really hits home. 

Right now, the Chicago area is losing 2 minutes and 22 seconds of daylight each day.  The region will have lost more than 50 minutes of daylight over the next month.  By the time we reach the winter solstice, December 21, Chicago will have lost more than an hour of daylight. 

Our days will continue to shorten– all the way until the Winter Solstice next month– though today is the day you might notice it the most. The length of day yesterday was about 10 hours and 14 minutes– today we’ll have 10 hours and 12 minutes of daylight– but we’ve moved an hour of that daylight back to the morning with the jump to standard time. Both sunrise and sunset are an hour earlier than yesterday. We’ll stay on standard time until March 10th next year. While there’s been small moves in Congress to stop doing the twice annual clock-changing routine—nothing substantive seem to indicate we’ll end the practice that seems almost universally disliked.

The later we get into fall, and especially when we reach winter, having more clouds at night helps keep the temperatures up. 

Solar radiation heats the ground during the day.  At night, the heat escapes back towards space.  But clouds act as a blanket, slowing the heat loss and can send some of that heat back to the surface.  When skies are clear, the radiation escapes, allowing temperatures to fall even more.  

WGN Weekly Climate Report: First days of November under our belt in Chicago and our snow season is underway!  

Technically it all fell on Halloween—so our snow total for the month is zero. On average November sees a bit less than 2″ of snow. It’s our 5th snowiest month of the year. Snowiest is January with an average of 11.3″. The whole year Chicago usually sees about 38″ of snow. Last year was in the top 20 for our lack of snowfall.

We’re way too warm for any more snow at the moment. Friday and Saturday both had high temps above the normal which is in the mid to low 50s for this part of mid-autumn. We’ll see some well-above normal temps Monday with highs that could get close to 70 for some of us. On average November sees a bit less than 2″ of snow. It’s our 5th snowiest month of the year.

It’s the overall lack of daylight as the northern hemisphere on Earth angles away further from the sun which ushers in the season of colder temps. The average high temp in Chicago goes from the mid 50s in the beginning of the month to 42 degrees at the end of the month. The average low goes from 40 degrees on the 1st to 29 degrees for an average low on the 30th.  November is our fastest cooling month of the year. October comes in 2nd.