California has had more snow than Chicago this winter

It's not too often that California cities beat Chicago in a snow record.

But that is exactly what has happened this winter, as more white stuff has fallen in the Golden State than in the Windy City. 

"Think about that," KTVU's meteorologist Roberta Gonzalez said, noting the weather oddity. 

Case in point: Chicago had gone 287 days without snow until Tuesday night, when it received 1.5 inches. That was the first day Chicago had measurable snow this season, breaking a record set in 2012. 

Meanwhile, Tahoe has recorded a whopping 22 feet of snow this week stemming from October through the present, breaking a 1970 record when 21.6 feet fell during the same period. 

Eight inches alone fell by Tuesday morning, according to the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, which tracks snow levels in the Donner Lake area of Nevada County, California. 

DRAMATIC PHOTOS: Snow blankets Northern California

Even lower elevations in the Bay Area beat Chicago. 

The peaks of Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County reported nine inches of snow as of Monday. Other mountaintops in Santa Cruz, Napa County and Contra Costa County also saw snow. 

And in Southern California – known for winter-time surfing – also was blanketed in heavy snow.

The 5 Freeway over the Grapevine was closed in both directions due to snow and ice, the California Highway Patrol said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday proclaimed a state of emergency in several counties across the state to support the ongoing response to the winter storms.

While the snow has been terrific news for those anxious to ease California's drought conditions, the unusual dumping of precipitation has caused its share of havoc, too.

The snow has caused closed roads, power outages, blizzard conditions forcing ski resorts to close and local emergencies in certain counties. 


A young boy throws a snowball in Calistoga on Dec. 28, 2021.


Snow falls on cars in a parking lot in Napa County on Dec. 28, 2021. 


Snow fell on Mount Diablo, elevation 3,800 feet. Dec. 28, 2021 


Kirkwood said it received more than seven feet of snow in seven days. (Kirkwood Mountain Resort)


There is a snow emergency in El Dorado and Placer counties. Dec. 29, 2021


Snowy Mount Hamilton on Dec. 28, 2021 

Snow in Forest Falls, CA.

FOREST FALLS, CA - DECEMBER 28, 2021: Sam Richey, 15, of Forest Falls gets some air-time while using a Boogey board to sled on fresh snow from Mondays winter storm on December 28, 2021 in Forest Falls, California.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via

KTVU's Roberta Gonzalez contributed to this report.