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Dear Tom,

It seems as though the start to 2019 has been unusually cloudy with very few days of full sunshine. What was our percentage of cloud cover from January through May?

Mike Burns

Dear Mike,

You are absolutely correct. Frank Wachowski, the Chicago area climatologist, who has been documenting Chicago’s sunshine since the 1950s, confirms your observations. Wachowski points out that every month in 2019 has registered a sunshine deficit. February was the dreariest month, logging just 29 percent of its possible sunshine, well below the month’s 47 percent normal. Sunshine in January, April and May ranged from seven to 11 percent below normal, while March’s 47 percent of possible sunshine was just two percent below normal. Totally sunny days have been rare since the first of the year, with just eight on the books through the end of May.