Has Chicago set any records for precipitation this year?
We’ve had a lot of precipitation this year. Are there any records so far?
— Andy Fowler, Woodstock
No records, but it certainly has been wet this year. Through Oct. 13, the city has officially logged 41.88 inches of water-equivalent precipitation, the sum of all the rain and snow that has fallen. That total is more than a foot (12.24 inches) above normal. We asked Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski to rank the city’s year-to-date precipitation, and since 1871, only two other years have logged more: 42.27 inches in 2008 and 42.04 inches in 2011. In both years, the wet trend continued with those two years ranking as the city’s two wettest: 50.86 inches in 2008 and 49.83 inches in 2011. In stark contrast, the city’s driest year to date was the “Dust Bowl” year of 1934 with just 14.66 inches of precipitation.