When was Chicago’s last really dry May?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
You recently wrote that recent Mays have been very wet. When was our last really dry May?
—Rachel Crystal Lake
Dear Rachel,
Defying all odds, the city’s last three Mays have broken the month’s all-time rainfall record dating back to 1871. At the start of 2018, the city’s wettest May occurred in 1945 when 7.59 inches was recorded. That was surpassed in May 2018 with 8.21 inches, May 2019 with 8.25 inches, and again in 2020 with 9.51 inches. The city’s last two dry Mays were in 2007 with 1.80 inches of rain, and in 2005 when 1.99 inches fell. The May preceding city’s infamous 1988 drought summer brought just 1.19 inches of rain, laying the foundation for the hot, dry summer that followed. Chicago’s two driest Mays occurred back in the early 1990s with just 0.30 inches in 1992 and 0.58 inches in 1994.

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