Chicago’s easterly winds this spiring

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Dear Tom,
I’ve noticed in the last couple of months that the wind keeps coming from the east. Is this normal?
Ellen, Ottawa
Dear Ellen,
Easterly winds (winds from the northeast, east or southeast) are common at Chicago in the spring, but you are correct to observe that they have been more frequent than usual this spring. It’s one of the results of the persistent rainy weather that Chicago experienced in April and May. (And, in fact, May was Chicago’s wettest May on record, with rain on 22 of the month’s 31 days.)
Much of the rain occurred with storm systems that tended to produce easterly winds. This was in addition to easterly winds that occur with the lake breeze phenomenon. Lake breezes are most frequent in April and May because lake water temperatures, typically slow to warm, are still quite cool but air temperatures over land are rising quickly.


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