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Looking Back On A Wet, Miserable April

April 18 Snow

Snow along the Edens Expressway on April 18, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Conditions are sunny and May flowers are in bloom at last, and with bone-chilling rain, overcast skies and even a late-season snowstorm, few in Chicago were likely sorry to see April go.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says precipitation in April totaled 4.9 inches, a figure that is 1.22 inches above normal even for a month that is known for being rainy.

This April was also one of the cloudiest on record, with only 32 percent of possible sunshine all month long.

Among the memorable lowlights was a storm that dumped more than 3 inches of snow in some areas early in the morning on Monday, April 18. O’Hare International Airport only saw 0.6 inches of snow, but even that was enough to set a record for the date.

On the evening of Tuesday, April 19, walking against the wind was blasted continuously in the face with cold droplets of rain, and given the strength of the winds, an umbrella was as good as useless. And that was before the severe storms even hit. Lightning bolts and thunder claps soon appeared, and hail of up to 1 inch in diameter was spotted in some areas, but the temperature only made it to 38 degrees.

The continued rainy conditions began to bring a threat of flooding to the Des Plaines and Fox rivers and several other area rivers and creeks.

As for the temperature, with highs in the 40s and lows below freezing many days, Glaros said on April 20 that the temperatures were the lowest they’d been for the late spring period since the 1940s.

By comparison so far, May has proven temperate and comfortable, although the rain will return later in the week. Glaros says sunny conditions are expected through Wednesday, but thunderstorms are anticipated Thursday, and showers will hover up through next weekend.

But temperatures will be more hospitable even on the rainy days, with highs in the 50s and 60s, and overnight lows in the 40s and 50s.