It’s Official: Chicago Does Snow Better Than (Almost) Any Other U.S. City

Snow BlowerChicago, IL is famous for many things. From deep-dish pizza to sky-high buildings to Kanye West, the Windy City is world-renowned for its crowning characteristics.

And now Chicago can add another qualifier to its roster: It’s now the second-best city in the U.S. when it comes to handling snow.

According to, research from consumer service website Thumbtack has revealed that Chicagoans will wait until there are 8.8 inches of snow on the ground before calling in the heavy duty snow plows.

Chicago is second only to Buffalo, NY, whose residents wait until there are 9.7 inches of snow, on Thumbtack’s list of the most snow-equipped cities. Thumbtack’s report said Chicago’s results reflect how accustomed its residents are to inclement weather.

This is especially apparent when one compares Chicago’s wait times with those of cities with similar winter weather. Boston, for example, calls in the snow plow services when there are just 3.6 inches of snow. Minneapolis, MN can only tolerate 3.69 inches of snow, as well.

“Chicago is one of our biggest markets and we have a number of customers in that area” says Jered Shuknecht, marketing director of Pro-Tech Manufacturing and Distribution, Inc. a national manufacturer of containment plows. “Cities that want to improve how they tackle snow should always keep their equipment in excellent working condition and be prepared for the unexpected storm. Having the right type of equipment is also key. For example, we have municipalities that use a variety of our products from V Plow Sno Pushers, which can be used for sidewalks all the way up to our 4 ton Super Duty Sno Pushers used to clear airport terminals.”

So far, Chicago has seen a fairly mild winter, NBC Chicago reported on December 30. That day, the city got just two inches of snow — not nearly enough for its residents and businesses to request snow removal services. On Monday and Tuesday, however, hail and sleet trapped many holiday travelers at O’Hare and Midway airports, with hundreds of flights canceled.

And while Thumbtack collected its data over more than two years, it’s important to note that the company’s study only reflects snow plow requests placed through Thumbtack. City plows and independent snow removal businesses’ data aren’t accounted for in the study.

Still, it’s hard to doubt that Chicago is in fact one of the most snow-equipped cities in the country.