Chicago’s June 1959 flooding rains that reversed area drought

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Much like Sunday night’s storms, my dad said he remembers severe thunderstorms, probably in the 1960s, that occurred in what had been a hot and exceptionally dry June. Details?
—Howard M. Tinley Park.
Dear Howard,
Your dad remembers June 1959, a month that logged less than a quarter-inch of rain through June 24, the second driest June to date. All that dramatically changed on a hot and steamy June 25 when the mercury soared to 94 degrees. Powerful thunderstorms swept into the area during the evening, bringing waves of heavy rain accompanied by wind gusts to 55 mph. The storms targeted Chicago’s southwest side, with 4.58 inches of rain falling at the official Midway Airport site, causing widespread flooding. That storm broke the drought and June, 1959 ended up with 5.94 inches of rain, nearly two inches above normal.

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