With the wet spring that Chicago is having, what is the rainfall outlook for this summer?

Dear Tom,

With the wet spring that Chicago is having, what is the rainfall outlook for this summer?

—Mike Parenti, Palatine

Dear Mike,

At Midway Airport, Chicago recorded about 13.30 inches of precipitation (March 1-May 8) this spring; that is about 6 inches above average (7.19 inches) for that period. Looking through precipitation records at Midway (1928-2016) for years with precipitation of 5 inches or more in excess of the average in the period March 1-May 8 and checking the summer precipitation (June-July-August) in those years, the following was obtained: Only two years, 1983 and 2009, meet the spring criteria. Summer precipitation those years was 10.51 and 11.83 inches respectively, compared to the summer average of 11.65 inches. Based on these two limited occurrences it is not apparent that a very wet spring leads to a heavy summer rainfall.