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How Wet was 2011? The Second-Wettest on Record

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 27, 2011 4:10PM

Romeo Banias captures the scene in downtown Oak Park last Thursday.

The weather outside has had us comparing Chicago to the Pacific Northwest in recent weeks, what with all the clouds and rain. Turns out the precipitation we received in 2011 was also record setting.

According to the National Weather Service, 2011 was the second-wettest year in Chicago on record. The .06 inches of official rain recorded at O'Hare early this morning pushed the year's total to 49.41 inches of precipitation.

The Blizzard of 2011, a record-setting July rainfall and a wetter-than-usual May helped us toward the new second-best mark. As much as the Blizzaster stands out in our memory, those July rainstorms, particularly the hail storm and the damage to the Garfield Park Conservatory left in its wake, were particularly nasty. July 2011 was the ninth-wettest month in Chicago history.

The National Weather Service doesn't predict we'll be getting the 1.45 inches of precipitation necessary to break the all-time mark set in 2008. For those of you waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, the weather was unseasonably warm like this before the Blizzard of 1967 hit Chicago. So savor the windbreaker weather while you can.