The Independence Day weekend is off to a spectacular start. Sunshine and unlimited visibilities return for a second day. Friday’s highs held in the 70s for the first time in nearly two weeks—readings 20 degrees below the steamy 90° levels of the past week. But, the transition to beautiful weather occurred with comparatively low coverage rainfall. Midwest lawns and farm fields still languish after four months of drought.
The pattern couldn’t be more different in the Southeast. Waves of rain have swept the area with great regularity since spring, sending the region’s rainfall totals soaring. Sections of Florida have been especially hard hit. Naples was swamped in June by a record 21.28” of rain, more than 2.5 times the normal 8.18”, and 60 percent of Chicago’s annual rainfall.
Powerful storms prompted weather watches in the Plains. A twister touched down in North Dakota, and another was reported in Canada’s Manitoba Province.
Brown lawns and shriveling leaves don’t lie. Weeks of hot, dry weather have taken their toll. And, while the year’s most impressive heat wave is history for the moment, June, 2005 enters the record book as the city’s second hottest and second driest June at Midway Airport in 77 years of continuous observations. The month averaged 6° above normal, a temperature level which suggests two and a half times the normal level of air conditioning in June.
For eight consecutive muggy days, highs surged above 90° at O’Hare—a June hot spell surpassed only by the 11 consecutive 90s recorded during the month in 1954.
Despite the recent heat and humidity, heavy thunderstorm rains Thursday were comparatively selective. Though 1.90" fell at Morris and 1.08" at Rockford, north suburban Lake Villa completed its 25 straight day without measurable rain Thursday.