ASK TOM WHY: How many past Good Fridays have experienced rain or snow?

Dear Tom,

How many past Good Fridays have experienced rain or snow?

— Michael K. Garrison,
Chicago

Dear Michael,

Good Fridays do show a bias toward precipitation. With the help of Chicago weather historian and climatologist Frank Wachowski, we checked the weather on 143 Good Fridays dating to 1871. Measurable precipitation has occurred in 73 years, or 51 percent of the days, at a time of the year when the daily climatological expectation for precipitation is about 40 percent. When traces of rain and snow are added to the mix, the percentage jumps to 64 percent as compared with an expectation of 56 percent. The last rain to fall on Good Friday was April 22, 2011, when more than half an inch soaked the city.

HUGE Spring Halo

Huge halos visible in the spring sky Wednesday over many sections of Florida caused quite a stir. Many of you sent me pictures.  I thought this shot from Adam Wlodarski, which so vividly shows the halo above the swimmers and others at the beach in Siesta Key, Florida illustrated just why the phenomenon caught the eyes of so many!!

This wider shot relayed to us from Adam Wlodarski in Siesta Key, Florida shows why this caught folks attention.  The halo dominated the sky. Photo courtesy of Adam Wlodarski, Siesta Key, Florida

Photo courtesy of Adam Wlodarski

Siesta Key, Florida

Angry Sky

This angry-looking sky was photographed Tuesday afternoon near Grayslake by Connor Healey.  You can see streamers of precipitation falling from the showers which bubbled up with daytime heating. Connor tells us rain and hail followed shortly after he snapped this shot.
angry skyPhoto courtesy of Connor Healey, Grayslake, IL