Wettest January-June on Record for Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release July 2, 2008
Wettest January-June on Record for Illinois
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540, sheppard@uiuc.edu

Monthly statewide precipitation has been above average every month in the first half of 2008, resulting in the wettest January-June since 1895, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), at the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability at the University of Illinois.

Statewide June precipitation was 5.8 inches, 1.7 inches above average, and the 14th wettest June on record. Combined with above-average precipitation since the start of 2008, the January-June total was 27.7 inches, 8.3 inches above average.

In recent times, only 1998 started out the year with comparable precipitation with 27.2 inches.

The highest monthly rainfall totals in June occurred near Lawrenceville with eight locations in that area reporting monthly amounts in excess of 10 inches, including 15.3 inches at Hutsonville. Heavy rains produced extensive flooding along the Wabash and Embarrass Rivers. Other areas in central Illinois and along the Illinois/Wisconsin border reported monthly rainfall totals of between 6 and 9 inches. Only southern Illinois south of Interstate 64 received below-average rainfall for the month.

Meanwhile, June statewide temperatures averaged 73 degrees, 1 degree above average.

Although the overall temperature was slightly above average, much of central and northern Illinois had not seen hot weather by the end of June. For example, temperatures in Chicago reached 90 degrees only once this year compared to an average of five times through the end of June in that location. Rockford temperatures never reached 90 degrees compared to four times through the end of June on average; Springfield temperatures hit the mark only twice compared to the average of eight times; and Champaign temperatures never reached 90 degrees, compared to an average of seven times.

The National Weather Service forecast for July is for an increased chance of above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures.

"Several people have expressed to me a concern that a sudden shift to hot and dry weather after our cool, wet start to the growing season would have a serious impact on corn and soybeans yields. The forecast right now suggests that this threat is pretty small," concludes Angel.

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