Like nation, Chicago still locked in dry spell

Lost in the recent publicity about Chicago’s lack of snow is the withering drought that affects nearly all of the United States.
Drought can be a winter  phenomenon too, though its effects are most apparent during the growing season. With total precipitation of 26.91 inches and a deficit of 9.98 inches in 2012, Chicago recorded only 73 percent of its normal annual total.
Near the sun
Perihelion, the point at which the Earth is nearest the sun in its annual orbit, occurred Wednesday. The Earth was about 11/2 million miles closer to the sun than its average annual orbital distance of 93 million miles.
Aphelion, the orbital point furthest from the sun, occurs July 2. These positions run contrary to popular belief.