May Temperatures and Precipitation in Illinois Near Normal, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release June 2, 2006
May Temperatures and Precipitation in Illinois Near Normal
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220,
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540,

“Preliminary data for Illinois indicate that 3.96 inches of precipitation fell in May 2006, just 0.30 inch below normal. Amounts were an inch or two below normal in west-central Illinois but normal or slightly higher in the rest of the state. Spring 2006 (March–May) precipitation was 12.67 inches, 1.40 inches above normal. Last May, precipitation was only 1.77 inches, 2.49 inches below normal. Along with the dry March and April last year, spring 2005 precipitation was only 5.85 inches, 5.42 inches below normal, setting the stage for severe drought last summer across much of the northern two-thirds of the state. Fortunately, that is not the case this year,” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“The 62.4°F statewide May mean temperature was 0.4°F below normal . Temperatures the first 23 days were 4°F below normal and 9.8°F above normal the last 8 days. Cool, wet conditions in early May slowed both planting and emergence of corn and soybeans. More favorable conditions by the end of the month allowed completion of corn planting and soybean planting was right at the 5-year average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The 53.5°F statewide temperature for spring was 1.5°F above normal,” says Angel.

Temperature extremes ranged from 29°F at Mt. Carroll on May 6 to 96°F at Bentley on May 29. Kankakee reported the heaviest one-day precipitation, 3.95 inches on May 25, and Bourbonnais reported the highest monthly total, 8.84 inches.

“As a result of sufficient precipitation this spring, soil moisture in all layers is in good shape. In fact, conditions throughout the state improved so much that the Illinois Drought Task Force was deactivated on May 24. The National Weather Service’s summer forecast calls for equal chances of temperatures and precipitation below and above normal. In other words, there is no increased chance of drought this summer,” concludes Angel.

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