The recent three-day rain event made me wonder what is the longest period of continuous rain in the Chicago area?
Jim Ekeberg, Palatine
We posed your question to Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski who informed us that the nature of the city’s precipitation records made it impossible to determine the longest in time precipitation event. The best he could do was to find the greatest number of consecutive days with measurable precipitation (0.01 inches or more) which turned out to be 11, occurring on two occasions. The first long-duration wet spell occurred in 1880, from Aug. 24-Sept. 3, and the second in 1949, from May 15-25. Total rainfall in 1880 totaled 3.62 inches, with the largest daily total 0.88 inches, while the 1949 episode accumulated 2.25 inches, with the greatest daily amount 1.53 inches.