Tenth Driest June: Precip Just Half of Normal, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release July 1, 2005
Tenth Driest June: Precip Just Half of Normal
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

“With precipitation statewide in Illinois averaging only 2.26 inches (55 percent of normal), June 2005 is the 10th driest June since 1895. Precipitation since March also has been low (8.09 inches, 53 percent of normal), and March–June is the 3rd driest such period on record after 1936 (7.65 inches, 49 percent of normal) and 1988 (7.92 inches, 51 percent of normal),” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“The latest U.S. Drought Monitor (http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html) has declared a severe agricultural drought, second of four drought stages, in much of northern Illinois, including Chicago, Rockford, Moline, Peoria, and Bloomingon-Normal. The rest of Illinois is in a moderate agricultural drought, the first stage. The only exception is in southeastern Illinois along the Wabash River, which received significant rains on June 12 from Tropical Storm Arlene. The Drought Monitor is released every Thursday by the Climate Prediction Center, the National Climatic Data Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center,” adds Angel.

Precipitation across the state has been 4–10 inches below normal since March 1: Chicago O’Hare (7.6 inches), Rockford (8.5 inches), Moline and Carbondale (8.9 inches), Peoria (9.4 inches), Springfield (7.7 inches), Champaign (6.8 inches), and Belleville (7.9 inches). During this same period, temperatures often were at or above 90°F: Chicago O’Hare (9 days); Rockford, Moline, and Carbondale (11 days); Peoria (15 days); Springfield (12 days); and Champaign and Belleville (16 days).

June temperatures ranged from 45°F at Mount Carroll (northwestern Illinois) on June 17 to 101°F at Streamwood on June 25. The statewide average temperature for June was 74.8 degrees (2.9 degrees above normal). Lawrenceville had the highest one-day precipitation total (3.10 inches on June 13), and Mt. Carmel had the highest monthly total (4.38 inches).

“Historically, dry March–June periods did not increase the likelihood for below normal precipitation in July and August, but temperatures for the rest of the summer were more likely to be above normal,” adds Angel.

“Even if precipitation in July and August this year is near normal, recovering from current conditions will be difficult because those months are when crop demand for soil moisture peaks. For example, the most significant deterioration in corn and soybeans occurred in July 1988 as soil moisture reserves were depleted, and temperatures routinely climbed into the 90s. We could have similar difficulties this year if dry weather continues,” says Angel.

Earlier this week, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich activated the Drought Response Task Force of Illinois experts from several state agencies. The Illinois State Water Survey also has a special drought Web site with regularly updated information (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/hilites/drought/).

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