Dear Tom,

I just heard that the Chicago area is no longer in drought. How does this year’s precipitation compare to last year’s?

—Bill Kasper

Dear Bill,

That is true. The national drought monitor released on April 28 has removed all portions of the Chicago area from drought classification for the first time since April 6, 2021. While no longer in drought status, areas north and west of Chicago into southern Wisconsin and eastern Iowa are still considered to be abnormally dry. Even though snowfall this winter was near or below normal, rainfall has been frequent and abundant. At O’Hare, the city’s official precipitation total so far this year is approaching 11 inches, compared to a shade more than five inches for the same period last year. Precipitation outlook for May is expected to be about normal, currently running 4.49 inches.