When did the Chicago area’s last significant drought occur?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
When did this area’s last significant drought occur?
—Hy Raskin, Aurora
Dear Hy,
Precipitation has been lacking so far in 2021, with the year’s deficit running about three inches. It’s been nearly a decade since the region’s last significant drought in 2012 brought broiling temperatures, withered vegetation and parched, cracked soil. Chicago’s precipitation for all of 2012 totaled just 26.91 inches, and the area was locked in moderate to severe drought much of the summer and fall. The warm dry pattern began with a remarkable March, 2012 that featured eight days in the 80s, followed by a very hot summer with 46 days of 90-degree plus heat that included four days with triple-digit highs. The drought quickly vanished in 2013 which logged more rain through June 30 (28.46 inches) than fell in all of 2012.

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