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July 2011: From Third Driest To Second Wettest In One Weekend

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A bolt of lightning over the Willis Tower early Saturday. (Credit: Cher Ames Wickert/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Going into the weekend, this was the third driest July on record, dominated by a week of sunny, sweltering days where the temperature exceeded 100 degrees in some areas.

But just one weekend was enough to turn the tables 180 degrees. Now, this July is only 0.52 inches away from setting a new record for the wettest July ever.

With the storms on Saturday and Sunday morning, the total for this July is 9.04 inches of rain.

The only record exceeding that dates back to 1889 – when Rogers Park, Austin and West Roseland were still suburbs. That July, the rainfall totaled 9.56 inches.

With shower and thunderstorm activity in the forecast on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, this July may yet beat the 1889 record, CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros said.

Between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday, a total of 6.85 inches of rain fell at O’Hare International Airport, the greatest amount since officials began keeping records in 1871.

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