Month of April tied for 2nd cloudiest in recorded Chicago history — what this means for your health

If you've had a hunch that this spring has been way less sunny than average, it is not your imagination.

Weather statistics from the month of April are now in, and they confirm it was nearly a record-breaker for gloom.

Local Climatologist Frank Wachowski tells FOX 32 that April 2022 is tied for the second cloudiest in recorded Chicago history, tying the year 1953 with only 34 percent of possible sunshine delivered — including six completely sunless days. Only April 2011 was less sunny (32 percent of possible sunshine delivered) since record-keeping started in 1893.

"I can believe that," said lifelong Chicagoan Alan Dorn. "It's been cloudy, it's been raining."

"We are full, we are busy," said Dr. Robert Shulman of the psychiatry department at Rush University Medical Center, who said more patients were present with mood disorders and depressive disorders during long stretches without much sunshine.

"You see higher rates of depression with prolonged dreariness. April's been a very dreary month," said Shulman.


Shulman said common-sense wellness measures are more important right now to combat the gloom: getting up at the same time each day, not drinking to excess, watching your diet and sugar intake, and getting regular exercise.

"Get outside as much as possible," Shulman said. "That helps as well as exercise and not just being stuck."

Wachowski said May isn't off to a great start either, with two consecutive nearly all-gray days. He said the last time May opened with such cloudiness was 1908, when May kicked off with four consecutive sunless days.