I’ve had a bit of fun with the weather since we moved to Chicago last summer. And it would be easy just to note that March came in like at least a lion cub: chilly temperatures, stiff cold breezes, a snow shower here and there.
But just a couple of hundred miles or so to the south and east, the same weather system that brought nuisance weather to Chicago spawned dozens of tornadoes that are reported to have killed at least 38 people and wreaked destruction from the sky as devastatingly as a fleet of bombers.
It was a reminder that tornadoes — an extreme rarity in Washington, D.C., where I lived for 30 years, and in the New York City area where I grew up — are more of a sad and scary fact of life in the nation’s midlands, where I am entering my first full spring as a resident. And this tornado siege came unusually early, as we are still about 16 days away from the vernal equinox that will signal the official start of spring.
So please keep the people who were victimized by the tornadoes in your thoughts, and if you can spare it, please make a contribution to the American Red Cross or other agencies providing relief. For those of us who think we’ve had a really bad day if we got caught in traffic or our train broke down or our flight was delayed or the cable guy kept us waiting, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to have an average rainy day suddenly turn apocalyptic.
I’m certainly not going to complain about having mediocre weather in Chicago, under the circumstances. At one point this afternoon, the sun tried, without much success, to compete with a shower of barely perceptible snow.
On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 40, a low of 27 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 64, a low of 34 and no precipitation. Point for D.C., obviously.
On Tuesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 47, a low of 25 and .08 of an inch of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 56, a low of 40 and no precipitation. Closer, but still point D.C.
On Wednesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 60 (that’s 19 degrees above average for the date, a low of 35 and .19 of an inch of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 56, a low of 40 and a swampy 1.44 inches of precipitation. Point for Chicago.
On Thursday, Chicago O’Hare was way back to normal, reporting a high of 39, a low of 35 and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National went way in the other direction, reporting a high of 70 (19 degrees above normal), a low of 46 and .05 of an inch of precipitation. Point D.C.
On Friday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 41, a low of 35 and .19 of an inch of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 55, a low of 40 and .34 pf an inch of precipitation. Crummy in both towns, but D.C. was warmer.
That brings D.C.’s overall lead to 118-94.