The National Weather Service, Chicago region released its top ten weather events of 2012. This year had less hazardous weather events, so the list focuses on unusually dry and warm weather.
After four consecutive 50 inch snow seasons, Chicago had only 19.8 inches for the 2011-2012 winter season. It was the 10th least snowy season on record.
Unprecedented March Warmth
The average March temperature in Chicago was 53.5F, which was 15.6 degrees above normal and almost 5 degrees warmer than the warmest March ever. High temperatures March 14 through 22 were 81, 81, 82, 82, 81, 78, 85, 87, and 83 – all records. In the previous 140 years only 10 80 degree temperatures were ever recorded in Chicago in March.
Chicago experienced its warmest spring ever with an average temperature of 56.6F, which was 8 degrees above the normal of 48.6F. Record highs of 97 and 95 were recorded on May 27 and 28, respectively.
May 6 Tornado, Hail, Wind, Flash Flooding
Severe thunderstorms hit areas well south of Chicagoland, along the US 24 corridor during the late evening of May 6 and early morning of May 7.
Hot, Dry June and July
In Chicago, the average June temperature was 74F which was 5.1 degrees above normal, and the sixth warmest June ever. The temperature hit 100 on June 28, the first 100 degree day in Chicago since 2005. There was only 0.90 inches of rain, which was 2.55 inches below normal, making it the fifth driest June on record. This was followed by the third hottest July ever.
Severe Weather June 28 through July 1
On June 28, severe storms dropped ping pong ball size hail near Elgin and golf ball size hail in southern Cook County near
Severe Weather Shuts Down Lollapalooza
On Saturday, Aug. 4, a line of severe thunderstorms downed trees throughout the Chicago metro area. Morris, in Grundy County, was especially hard hit with many large trees uprooted, some falling on car or homes. The line of storms continued east into Cook County, causing Chicago officials to shut down the Lollapalooza concert at Grant Park for three hours, forcing the evacuation of about 100,000 attendees.
Rare August Gale
A weather buoy in southern Lake Michigan, which has been recording weather and water data since 1981, recorded the strongest winds and largest waves ever for the month of August.
Sandy Impacts Lake Michigan
As remnants of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy drifted into western Pennsylvania and New York on Oct. 30, strong north winds developed over Lake Michigan and the immediate Illinois and Indiana shoreline. Winds gusted to 69 mph at Michigan City, 60 mph at Gary Airport, 58 mph at Chicago’s Harrison-Dever Crib, and 56 mph at the southern Lake Michigan buoy.
Early December Unusual Warmth and Lack of Snow
The high temperatures in Chicago Dec. 1 through 4 were 59, 63, 70 and 59. The 70 degree high on Dec. 3 was one short of the record for the date and month.
No measurable snow fell through mid December in Chicago. At Chicago a record was set for the longest period without measurable snow. The old record was 280 days set in 1994.
To read the entire story see: Top 10 Weather Events for 2012 Northern IL and Northwest IN