I spent 17 years living in Madrid, Spain, which was long enough to forget what summers in America’s Midwest are like. This is my first full summer in Chicago, and I grew up in Milwaukee, with very similar weather, so none of this should be a surprise. But it is. The contrast is just too great.
When I first arrived back a year ago, I’d forgotten how lush and green things are in this part of the United States. And not just green – lots of flowers, too. There’s a reason for that. I’d forgotten how much it rains, often in the form of thunderstorms.
Chicago’s average rainfall in July is 3.7 inches
. Madrid’s average for July is 0.4 inches
. In other words, on average in July, Chicago gets nine times
the rain of Madrid.
The July average is 3.7 inches, but so far this month, my corner of Chicago has received 4.94 inches, with more rain forecast for tomorrow morning. August tends to be an even wetter month with an average of 4.9 inches of rain. Areas northwest of me in Illinois are already suffering from record floods.
It’s hot, it’s wet, and as a consequence, it’s buggy here. But that’s not all bad. I can watch moisture-loving fireflies sparkling in my back yard – on evenings when it isn’t raining.
— Sue Burke