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Dear Tom,

How do the four seasons rank in terms of total precipitation (rain and snow)? I’m guessing spring is first.

Joe Gilleran

Dear Joe,
Using three-month meteorological seasons and based on Chicago’s latest 30-year 1981-2010 climatological normals, the city’s annual precipitation stands at 36.89 inches. While spring and winter often feature many days with precipitation, totals are generally higher during the summer months when warmer temperatures allow the air to hold more moisture. Summer (JJA) is historically the city’s wettest season with a current normal of 12.05 inches largely buoyed by August’s robust 4.90 inches of precipitation. The transition seasons post nearly identical precipitation with 9.56 inches in Spring (MAM) and 9.51 inches in Autumn (SON). Winter (DJF) contributes the least precipitation to the annual total with just 5.77 inches.