Glen Ellyn was drenched with 1.52 inches of rain in 90 minutes Wednesday night, in one of the few thunderstorms during this summer of excessive heat and drought conditions.
The welcomed rain comes nowhere near qualifying as a "drought-buster," according to meteorologist Tom Skilling. It would take four or five such systems with wider coverage rains and a slower pace of rainfall to really put a dent in the drought, he reported for the Chicago Weather Center.
The Palmer Drought Index has indicated Illinois would have to see 9 to 15 inches of rainfall over a number of days for the drought, which has taken many months to develop, to end.
Highs of 94 degrees at O'Hare and 92 degrees at Midway airports Wednesday pushed Chicago's 2012 90+ degree tally to 32 days. That's more than three times the number a year ago.
The heat is far from over, Skilling said. An intense new surge of heat is expected to take hold Sunday and last through mid-week.