Dear Tom,
Despite this year’s drought, heavy rainfall is still very much in the news. How many months in Chicago have recorded double-digit rainfall totals?
—Chris M. Midlothian
Dear Chris,
Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski scoured the climate books and found that Chicago has logged a monthly precipitation total of 10 or more inches eight times since 1871, spanning five different months. Not surprisingly, all of the months were in the warm season from June through October, when the atmosphere can hold more moisture. August led the way with three occurrences: 1987- 17.10 inches, 2001-12.25 inches, and 1885-11.28 inches. It happened twice in September, with both years aided by hurricane remnants: 1961-14.17 inches (Hurricane Carla) and 2008-13.63 inches (T.S. Lowell and Hurricane Ike). The other months were June 1892-10.58 inches, July 2011-11.15 inches, and October 1954-12.06 inches.