We flew to Chicago yesterday. It was clear and warm as we left Oakland. We landed in Salt Lake City just as a big monsoon-driven cell passed over the area. And in Chicago, we emerged into a steam bath. It was about nearly 1 in the morning and about 80 degrees. My first impression was 80 sopping-wet degrees, but I think you get used to it. I say “I think” because like millions of others in Chicagoland, I’m living Monday morning in air-conditioned comfort as the temperature outside climbs toward the 90s (and there’s a complicating factor today: the National Weather Service has issued an air-quality alert for high pollution levels today).
In other weather talk: A neighbor mentioned she’d heard that Chicago had had more than 6 inches of rain in a day recently, but thought that might have been a typo. Well, no, it wasn’t. As the Chicago Weather Center site reports in detail, July 2011 was one of the driest Chicago Julys on record–until 10 days ago. Then storms began rolling in, including one that dropped 6.86 inches on July 23 (the most on one date in the city going back to 1870), and the month turned into the city’s rainiest July on record). Here’s the rundown from WGN’s Tom Skilling and company:
From one of driest to all-time wettest July in just six days
Wettest July also third-warmest
Chicago’s 24-hour rainfall record …
(And the picture? That’s Lunt Avenue, in front of my sister’s place in West Rogers Park. God’s Battle Axe? Well, it gets your attention. The church describes itself as “a fast growing charismatic prayer ministry … destroying the works of darkness thereby impacting the world.” The ministry’s leader “is referred to by some of his close friends as ‘a Praying Machine: The Anointed Apostle of Prayers.’ “)