NYC just got 3 inches of rain in one hour. What is the most rain Chicago has gotten in 1 hour? What about snow?
—Larry Goldman, Chicago
Chicago may be the “Second City” in some respects, but not one-hour rainfall intensity. When Ida’s remnants passed through New York last week, the city recorded 3.15 inches of rain in one hour in Central Park. Chicago’s heaviest one-hour rain totaled 3.34 inches, measured at Midway Airport on June 13, 1976, when a lake-breeze induced thunderstorm flooded portions of the city. That same thunderstorm produced the F-4 Lemont Tornado that killed two, injured 23, and caused $13 million of damage. Chicago’s heaviest one-hour snowfall was 3.5 inches that fell on February 23, 1967. This short-duration blizzard occurred less than one month after the city’s record 23.0” snowfall on Jan. 26-27.