Precipitation Contrasts Between the Chicago Urban Area and an Offshore Station in Southern Lake Michigan

Stanley A. Changnon Jr. Illinois State Water Survey

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Collection of precipitation in a raingage located in Lake Michigan near Chicago over an 11-yr period has permitted a study of the average monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation received off the southwestern shore of the lake. These values are compared with average precipitation occurring in the Chicago urban area and with amounts from other nearby rural and shore stations. From these comparisons, the effects of lake and urban influences on the precipitation pattern are evaluated.

The results of this study compare favorably with results from similar lake-precipitation studies performed by the Corps of Engineers. The precipitation data from this station in the lake indicate that precipitation over southern Lake Michigan may be considerably less than previously estimated from data of stations along the shore. The effect of precipitation on lake levels may be better evaluated now that additional information on lake precipitation is available.

Collection of precipitation in a raingage located in Lake Michigan near Chicago over an 11-yr period has permitted a study of the average monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation received off the southwestern shore of the lake. These values are compared with average precipitation occurring in the Chicago urban area and with amounts from other nearby rural and shore stations. From these comparisons, the effects of lake and urban influences on the precipitation pattern are evaluated.

The results of this study compare favorably with results from similar lake-precipitation studies performed by the Corps of Engineers. The precipitation data from this station in the lake indicate that precipitation over southern Lake Michigan may be considerably less than previously estimated from data of stations along the shore. The effect of precipitation on lake levels may be better evaluated now that additional information on lake precipitation is available.

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