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Hail of a Storm
Monday, 18 June 2012 11:06
20120616_hail1This past Saturday saw the strongest weather we've had in a long while. A tight little hail storm passed over dropping a ton of one-inch hail with strong winds. The yard looks like a disaster area, with about a million leaves and small branches down everywhere. Fortunately, there was no serious damage. We received six Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and a Special Statement for strong storms, but the majority of that activity passed to our south. The storms continued off and on during the evening and overnight, dropping a much needed 1.4 inches of rain.

Speaking of rain - the Chicago NWS office recently posted a couple of statements about this June being one of the driest and sunniest on record (full text below). I heard on the radio that we are about seven inches below the average rainfall for this year so far. That's fine with me as the last four years we have been significantly above the average by this time. Our property sits in a low area of the neighborhood and we can get quite soggy with too much precipitation.

20120616_hail2It has also been hot. Lately, the temperature has gotten into the mid 90s regularly, ten to fifteen degrees above normal for this time of year. In the days leading up to the storms, we were almost constantly under Air Quality Alerts, and constantly skirting Fire Weather Warnings. Despite the heat, it's been mostly very dry, with the humidity hovering around thirty percent most days.

The coming week looks to be very hot, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s with the heat index nearing 100 almost every day. A few chances for rain and thunderstorms crop up throughout the week, but as of now nothing sinister is expected.

The Chicago NWS office also posted the "Spring Look Back". Summary: it was hot and dry.
Statement as of 1:25 PM CDT on June 15, 2012

... One of the sunniest Junes on record for Chicago so far...

Chicago has received 83 percent of possible sunshine through June 14. Normal for the month of June is 65 percent. Sunshine data for Chicago GOES back to 1894. There have only been 4 Junes in Chicago history that had more than 80 percent of possible sunshine. The most recent was 1988 when 86 percent of possible sunshine occurred.

If this trend continues... June will likely be the 9th consecutive month in Chicago with both above normal temperatures and above normal sunshine.

Statement as of 10:54 am CDT on June 12, 2012

... In the midst of one of the driest starts to June on record...

A notably dry pattern has continued over the area from the Spring into meteorological Summer. It presently looks that no rainfall will fall across northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana through Friday June 15th. Below is a look at how this stacks up with the driest first halves of June on record.

Chicago... Driest starts to June /through the 15th/ on record since 1871:

Rank amount year
----------------------
1. 0.00 1988
2. 0.01 2012*
3. 0.04 1922
4. 0.07 1968
5. 0.13 1913 1992

*=current total plus 0.00 of precip through June 15th.

Rockford... Driest starts to June /through the 15th/ on record since 1906:

Rank amount year
----------------------
1. 0.00 1988
2. 0.02 1933
3. 0.10 2012*
4. 0.11 1951
5. 0.27 1956

*=current total plus 0.00 of precip through June 15th.

While Rockford did receive a small amount of rain Monday morning... the community has missed out on the few and far between regional bouts of more significant rainfall during the past couple months. Here is a look at the driest mid-Aprils through mid-Junes on record at Rockford.

Driest April 16th-June 15th on record:

Rank amount year
----------------------
1. 1.11 1934
2. 1.93 1988
3. 1.95 1928
4. 2.84 2012*
5. 2.98 1992

*=current total plus 0.00 of precip through June 15th.

Statement as of 1:42 PM CDT on June 1, 2012
A look back at the climate for record warm spring 2012 for Chicago and Rockford

At Chicago... the average high temperature for the season was 66.5 degrees which is 8.0 degrees above the 1981 to 2010 average. The average low temperature was 46.6 degrees which is 7.8 degrees above the 1981 to 2010 average. Overall... the average temperature for the season was 56.6 degrees which is 8.0 degrees above normal. This is 0.4 degrees warmer than the previous record warm spring of 1977.

A total of 8.71 inches of precipitation was recorded during this past spring... which is 0.85 inches below normal. There was only a total of 0.3 inches of snow recorded at O’Hare this spring... all on March 2. This is 6.5 inches below normal.

Record highs were set or tied at O’Hare on 9 days in March... all during the incredible heat wave of March 14 to March 22. Record warm lows were set or tied on 7 days in March... with 6 occurring from March 14 to March 23. There were no record highs or warm lows in April... but then there were 2 record highs in May... on May 27 and May 28... with a record warm low also occurring on May 28. Additionally... the 97 degree high temperature on May 27 was the earliest 97 degree reading on record in Chicago. Furthermore... the 95 degree high temperature on May 28 was the warmest Memorial Day on record in Chicago. There were no record lows or record low high temperatures recorded in spring 2012 at O’Hare.

At Rockford... the average high temperature was 67.0 degrees which is 7.2 degrees above normal. The average low temperature was 44.6 degrees which is 6.6 degrees above normal. Overall... the average temperature for the season was 55.8 degrees which is 6.9 degrees above normal. This is 0.6 degrees warmer than the previous record warm spring of 1977.

A total of 7.84 inches of precipitation were recorded during this past spring... which was 1.85 inches below normal. Of this total... 2.26 inches occurred on April 15... a record for the date. In addition... a total of 3.0 inches of snow was recorded. This is 2.7 inches below normal.

Record highs were set or tied at Rockford on 8 days in March... all during the heat wave. Record warm lows were set or tied on 10 days in March... including an incredible 9 consecutive days from March 15 to March 23. There were no record warm highs or warm lows in April at Rockford... but then record highs were set or tied on two days in May... on May 24 and May 27... with a record warm low tied on May 28. Additionally... the 99 degree high temperature on May 27 was the earliest 99 degree reading on record at Rockford. Interestingly... the record warm spring of 2012 at Rockford closed on a cold note... with a record low high temperature of 52 degrees on May 31.
 
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