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What could drier-than-normal weather mean for your garden and the greater climate? A climate change specialist and floral expert weigh in.

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(Pixabay)

Rockford’s weather station recorded a record-setting number of days reaching temperatures of 90 degrees or above in early June. Chicago’s average temperature for the month is more than 8 degrees above normal. 

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Dan O’Conor, the “Great Lake Jumper,” makes his 365th leap into Lake Michigan, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Chicago’s Montrose Point. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

Dan O’Conor said he started jumping into the lake at Montrose Harbor on the city’s North Side last year to relieve stress.

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Elm seeds are blanketing lawns and sidewalks. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The unusually high volume of seeds falling from trees this spring, especially from the city’s elms, is indicative of drought, said Jeff Brink, senior forester with the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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Chicago is experiencing one of its driest springs ever. (Holger Schue / Pixabay)

Normally, nearly 11 inches of rain falls on Chicago in the spring. This year, the city has only measured 2.32 inches and is on track to set a record for the driest spring ever.

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In this Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 file photo, a member of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wades through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, N.C. (AP Photo / David Goldman)

Scientists have long talked about climate change — hotter temperatures, changes in rain and snowfall and more extreme weather — being the “new normal.” Data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration put hard figures on the cliche. 

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It was a good day for a picnic in Chicago on Tuesday, until the weather changed. (WTTW News)

Chicago went from tank-top to sweatshirt weather in a matter of minutes on Tuesday in one of the wildest temperature swings the city has ever seen.

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It wouldn’t be spring in Chicago without a dusting of snow. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

With temperatures expected to dip below freezing, gardeners who jumped the gun might want to consider covering tender vegetation, according to experts.

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Mid-to-late May is the safest bet for most planting in Chicago. (Lukas / Pexels)

It’s easy to forget the cruelest April Fool’s joke: The season’s last frost is likely several weeks away, meaning it’s far too early to put most plants in the ground.

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Heavy rains can overwhelm Chicago's sewer system. (Roman Grac / Pixabay)

The past few springs, Chicago has notched record-breaking rainfall totals. All that water has to go somewhere, and when it overwhelms the city’s sewers, untreated wastewater winds up in the Chicago River.

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(WTTW News)

The first day of school in the next academic year will be Aug. 30, marking a shift away from the normal start date of the Tuesday after Labor Day. Aside from the new start date, the 2021-22 calendar does not change any other traditional components of the academic year. 

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(WTTW News)

The cost for natural gas is set to reach levels not seen since the polar vortex in 2014. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details on that story and more.

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Spring snow expected in Chicago. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

A system carrying moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will hit the area late Monday morning through early afternoon, bringing with it rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow.

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Parts of Wyoming and Nebraska are under blizzard warnings while there are Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories in effect for other parts of the region, CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin said.

Snow through central portions of the US is expected to ramp up Saturday, but likely won’t reach its peak until Sunday. Flood alerts are also a big concern for this system in the Midwest. With some rivers nearing flood stage, the anticipated heavy rain could take the rivers to dangerous levels.

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A wind advisory is in effect. (Chait Goli / Pexels)

Batten down the hatches, or at least secure lightweight objects outdoors. There’s a wind advisory in effect Wednesday.

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It's beginning to feel and look like spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Tuesday’s weather was one for the record books, with the mercury at O’Hare hitting 69 degrees, tying the highest temperature for March 9 set back in 1974, according to the National Weather Service.