Does rain or snow seem to miss a location more often than surrounding places?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
I live in Brookfield and I have noticed that as many storms approach my area, they tend to split to the north or south of me.


Earl Farrell,
Brookfield


Dear Earl,
You have stated a version of the belief that rain or snow seems to miss a location more often than surrounding places, but it’s just not true. Averaged over a sufficiently long period of time, precipitation strikes all locations equally, but there are exceptions. On average, there is slightly less precipitation to the far north than to the far south of Chicago. City temperatures also run higher than outlying areas and consequently rain/snow winter borderline events produce more rain in the city than in outlying locations. In addition, lake-effect snow tends to occur more frequently near Lake Michigan and to the southeast of the city.

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