Dear Tom,

What is the longest stretch that Chicago has ever gone with no rain?

—Cindy Hubrik, La Grange Park

Dear Cindy,

The record for no precipitation is 22 days, September 2-23, 1979. Rain on the 1st brought 0.01 inch and a trace fell on the 24th. Another trace of rain fell on the 30th, so the total precipitation for the month was a meager 0.01 inch. September of 1979 stands as the driest month in Chicago weather history. Chicago’s longest stretch of days with no measurable precipitation (that is, absolutely dry days or days with only a trace) occurred from January 7 through February 5, 1919 — a period of 30 consecutive days. Eight days recorded traces and 20 days had no precipitation. January 6 brought 0.10 inch, as snow, and February 6 had 0.01 inch, also as snow.