Chicago area experiences century-old rain fall record

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Wednesday night severe storms dropping heavy rain and intense lightning on the Chicago area helped turn the driest July in the city’s history into the wettest and more is predicted.

For the second week a series of severe and powerful thunderstorms formed near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. The storms erupted like flowers over the Chicago area and then moved slowly across the region. Intense lightning, high winds, thunder and heavy rains blanketed an area that was already experiencing flooding from storms the week prior.

According to local media reports, the prior record for the month of July had stood for 122 years. The previous record for the amount of rain to fall in July was set way back in 1889. Now, with the July total standing at 9.75 inches, that record has been shattered. And weather forecasters say that more rain is on the way as Thursday’s weather pattern looked to be setting up for more of the same.

Part of the problem has been this summer’s intense heat. This has made the atmosphere over the Chicago area very unstable and saturated with moisture. This is making the thunderstorms large rain producers.

Already records for the summer have been shattered. During one particularly stormy period this summer more than 500,000 people were without power as gusty storms blew down power lines across the region. Once again, after last night’s storms, people are without power and some are once again flooded.

Some forecasters are saying that the total month amount of rain could easily top ten inches for the month.

As of this morning the Chicago area was experiencing a lull in the thunderstorm activity. The area was blanketed in clouds and small, isolated storms and rain showers were evident. However, the air was once again humid, with high dew points, and intense heat was predicted. Forecasters are saying more strong thunderstorms, in almost the exact same pattern as the ones that hit last night, could move through the area again this afternoon, this evening and over night.

Flood warnings blanketed most of Chicago and the surrounding areas. The ground is complete saturated. The storms that happened last night and are predicted for tonight have the capability of producing up to three inches of rain an hour.

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