What is the record for December thunderstorms in the Chicago?

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Dear Tom,

What is the record for December thunderstorms in the Chicago? I’ve encountered several this December and don’t remember anything like this.

Thanks, Mick Vendel, Geneva

Dear Mick,

December thunderstorms, while rare in Chicago, are not unprecedented. Chicago averages 38 thunderstorm days a year, but December’s average is less than one. The city has officially recorded two t-storms this December, occurrences on both sides of midnight on December 26-27, but there were two other days with t-storms in the metro area: 12/10 and 12/15. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski checked the archives and found that December, 1982 holds the record with four thunderstorm days. With a strong El Nino in effect, that December also stands as the city’s wettest, logging 8.56 inches of precipitation. T-storms occurred on December 2, 23rd, 24th, and 28th. Runner-up was December, 1975 with three thunderstorm days.

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