How bad is this year’s cloudy five-month period?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,

In all my Chicago years dating back to the mid-1950s, I can’t recall a cloudier five-month period than 2020’s open. Comparing year-to-date totals based on percent of possible sunshine, how bad are we doing here?

Tom Gregg 

Dear Tom,

You are absolutely correct that it has been a dreary open to 2020. We checked with Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski, who has been documenting Chicago sunshine since the 1950s. He reported that the first five months this year have all logged subpar sunshine, averaging just 41 percent of the possible sunshine, well below the 49 percent normal. However, last year was even a bit drearier, averaging 40 percent. Nine years ago in 2011, the opening five months were just as dreary as this year, also averaging 41 percent of possible sunshine.


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