Our Daily Planet: Chicago Snow and Groundhog Day

Each weekday morning, OurAmazingPlanet takes the pulse of the Earth, reporting on natural phenomena and exploration news from around the globe.

Chicago Snow: The massive winter storm that is roaring across the country has brought heavy snowfall to many cities. Chicago has 19.5 inches (49.5 centimeters) so far (as measured at O'Hare airport), making it the third largest snowstorm in the city's history. Chicago's largest blizzard of all time brought 23 inches (58 cm) of snow in 1967. Jim Cantore, a Weather Channel meteorologist, was in the middle of last night's storm when a blast of thundersnow struck. See the video here. [Related: World's Snow Cover Seen from Space .]

Illegal Catch: Maryland police stumbled upon 6,000 pounds of illegally caught rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay.

MegaQuake: Did FEMA expect a megaquake, on par with the 1811 New Madrid earthquake, by 2014?

Cyclone Yasi: Tropical Cyclone Yasi is pummeling flood-ravaged Queensland today. The storm made landfall at 12:30 am Thursday local time (9:30 am Wednesday ET). See what the colossal storm would look like if it hit other parts of the world.

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, meaning an early spring is on the way. Don't get your hopes up though, he's not a very good forecaster.

Previously on Our Daily Planet: Massive Winter Storm and Surviving a 1,000-Foot Fall

Reach OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel at bisrael@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @btisrael.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.