ASK TOM WHY: Is 2012 likely to end up as Chicago's sunniest year?

Dear Tom,

November just set a record for the city’s 14th consecutive month with above normal sunshine. Is 2012 likely to end up as Chicago’s sunniest year?

Thanks, Brian Dunne Westmont


Dear Brian,

We posed your question to Chicago’s sunshine guru Frank Wachowski who told us that while 2012 has been exceptionally sunny, it will fall short of being the city’s sunniest year. The current sunshine champ is 1895 which logged an impressive 66 percent of its possible sunshine followed by runner-up 1988 with 65 percent. Through the end of November, 2012 averaged 64 percent of possible sunshine and it would take an impossibly sunny December with nearly 100 percent of the possible sunshine to break the record. With our current string of five sunless days, December’s percent of possible sunshine has dropped to a dreary 37 percent, below the month’s normal of 41 percent.

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