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Chicago's Upcoming Winter Expected To Be The Nation's Worst

First Posted: 10/05/11 02:13 PM ET Updated: 12/05/11 05:12 AM ET

Chicago Blizzard

If you thought winter in Chicago couldn't possibly get more intense than last year's blizzaster, get ready for this one: Long-range forecasters are expecting this winter's snowfall and average temperatures to rank the city as home to the nation's worst winter.

According AccuWeather.com's forecast, the Chicago area will likely be clobbered by between 50 and 58 inches of snow this winter -- approximately the same amount as the 56 inches that fell over the city last year. An average amount of snowfall is approximately half that. The Chicago Sun-Times further reports that average temperatures will be 2 to 3 degrees colder than normal -- also on par with last winter's temperatures, which were 2.4 degrees colder than normal.

"People in Chicago are going to want to move after this winter," AccuWeather meteorologist John Nagelberg told NBC 5 of the predicted frigidness.

The brutal temperatures are expected to hit hard in December and January, before easing up slightly in February, according to the Chicago Tribune. Snow will be expected to be distributed more evenly throughout the season than last year, when the Groundhog's Day blizzard crippled the city, trapped hundreds of cars on Lake Shore Drive and provided an endless bevy of dramatically wintry images.

(Scroll down to relive the storm.)

The barrage of snow cost the city nearly $38 million to clean up.

While AccuWeather predicts the worst, not all those looking ahead to Chicago's winter are in agreement of what the city should prepare for, the Tribune reports. The Farmer's Almanac's 2012 edition predicts average temperatures and said a monstrous blizzard similar to last year's is not likely to occur.

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A snow plow turns off Roosevelt Road during the beginning of a blizzard Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 in Chicago. Forecasts call for snow accumulation between one and two feet. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Filed by Joseph Erbentraut  |