A long last, the atmosphere is handing Chicago a three-day period of pleasantly sunny, cool and dry weather in what has otherwise been a cloudy, chilly and record-wet year. Year-to-date precipitation stands at 24.17 inches, the most ever for that period in 143 years of Chicago weather history -- and in remarkable contrast to the withering drought that prevailed at this time one year ago. Year-to-date precipitation then was a meager 12.64 inches. The weather doesn't play "catch up," but sometimes it seems as if it does.
Thundershowers moved across the Chicago area Monday afternoon, producing brief but heavy downpours. Selected rainfall totals:
0.30" Clarendon Hills
0.24" Downers Grove
0.20" Hinsdale, Western Springs
0.15" Midway Airport (courtesy of Frank Wachowski)
0.02" O'Hare International Airport
Canadian air that arrived late Monday afternoon has established residence across the Midwest and, in fact, is forecast to push to the Gulf states by Thursday. Chicago area locations that flirted with, and even exceeded, 90 degrees on Monday will struggle to get out of the 60s Tuesday. In yet another weather reversal, heat and humidity return by the weekend -- and that will bring the next threat for rain.
Until then, three rain-free days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) are expected, and that will be Chicago's longest "dry spell" in four weeks (since a 6-day dry period May 11-16).