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Dreaming of a White Christmas? Go to Denver.

By Olivia Leigh in Miscellaneous on Dec 22, 2006 5:42PM

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know, chances are you won’t be finding it in Illinois this year. Although The Weather Channel is noting possible flurries, with temperatures above freezing for the entire week, anything sticking around is highly doubtful.

With the exception of the snowfall we saw on the first of the month, the 6.5’’ snow tally at O’Hare is half of the 12’’ that had covered the Chicagoland area by this time a year ago. Yesterday marked the 20th consecutive day since snow, making this the longest early- and mid-December period without snow in 13 years, and one of only ten such occassions since 1885.

2006_12_whitechristmas.jpgIf you are desperate for sleigh rides in the snow, here’s hoping you’ll be celebrating the holidays in the Mile High City -- that is, if you can get to Denver.

After being hit with the largest blizzard in years, the Denver airport has been virtually shut down since Wednesday, with it expected to open beginning at noon today. Two of six runways will be operating, and snow crews continue to work to allow for more operations.

Not only did the storm screw up plans for people traveling to the city itself, but United Airlines cancelled 2,000 flights into the city, it’s second largest hub, including connecting flights to other destinations. United has been allowing customers to make one change to their tickets until Dec. 27, with more information available at their Web site.

Weather also created delays at O’Hare yesterday, with fog creating average delays of an hour for both departing and arriving flights. We’re thankful we only need to drive a bit on Christmas Eve, instead of dealing with the clusterfuck of people passing through O’Hare. About 240,000 are expected to use the airport today, or 33,000 more than the 207,000 who use travel through on an average day.

Best of luck to everyone flying out of the city this weekend. Call your airline to be sure your flights aren’t delayed. And if they are, remember, there’s always free gift wrapping and carolers!