It seems the Chicago area had fewer thunderstorms in 2018 than in previous years. Is that correct?

Dear Tom,
It seems the Chicago area had fewer thunderstorms in 2018 than in previous years. Is that correct?
Margare t Robertson,Chicago
Dear Margaret,
Actually, it’s not true. Including the thunderstorms that raked the area on Dec. 1, the city has logged 46 days with thunderstorms in 2018, well above the annual normal of 38 days. This year’s total was buoyed by an extremely thundery August with storms on 12 days and May with nine. If no more thunder occurs this month, the 46 days in 2018, while shy of the 51 in 2017 and the 50 in 2016, will be the most in Chicago since 2008 when 48 days were logged. Citing thunderstorm records dating back to 1871, Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski reports that the city’s thunderstorm day extremes range from 66 days in 1975 to just five in 1875 and 1879.

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