Dear Tom,
Given all the rain we have gotten this winter- What is the most amount of precipitation as rainfall during “winter” in Chicago, and where does this year stand?

Kevin Kooistra

Dear Kevin,

This winter has featured more rain than snow, but when tabulating winter precipitation, the water-equivalent precipitation of both rain and snow are included. We had Chicago weather historian and climatologist Frank Wachowski check the precipitation totals for Chicago’s meteorological winter periods (December, January, and February) dating back to the winter of 1870-71, and he found the city’s wettest winter occurred in 1949-50 with 13.79 inches of liquid-equivalent precipitation, a total that included nearly 20 inches of snow. That total was more than five inches higher than the 8.59 inches recorded this winter.