Wet, Cool July Atypical for Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release August 4, 2003
Wet, Cool July Atypical for Illinois
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220, jimangel@illinois.edu
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540, eva@sws.uiuc.edu

“We don’t usually associate lots of rainfall and mild temperatures with July in Illinois, and yet that’s exactly the kind of weather we just had during the 11th wettest and 34th coldest July since 1895,” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“The good news is that with both June and July being cooler than normal, the number of days at or above 90 degrees has been about half of what usually occurs through the end of July. Chicago and Rockford only had 5 such days instead of their normal 12 and 10 days, Springfield had 9 instead of 19 days, and Carbondale had 12 instead of 21 days,”says Angel.

July rainfall was 147 percent of normal, 5.62 inches statewide, and temperatures averaged 74.8 degrees, a degree below normal. Rainfall was especially copious in central and northern Illinois (164 and 162 percent of normal, respectively), and 85 percent of normal in southern Illinois. “When combined with similar weather in June, we’ve had 10.42 inches of rainfall (126 percent of normal) and temperatures of 70.6 degrees (2.4 degrees below average), making summer (so far) the 15th wettest and 5th coldest since 1895,” says Angel.

Based on preliminary data, Romeoville reported the highest monthly rainfall total for July, 11.94 inches. Thirteen Illinois sites reported monthly totals in excess of 8 inches, including Park Forest (10.21 inches) and one of two Urbana sites (10.13 inches).

The National Weather Service outlook for August and the rest of the growing season does not indicate an increased likelihood of above or below normal temperatures and precipitation. “Historically, a cool June–July leads to an increased chance of normal to above normal precipitation and below normal temperatures in August–September,” says Angel.

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