Fifth Wettest Spring on Record, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release June 3, 2009
Fifth Wettest Spring on Record
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Wet conditions in March, April, and May resulted in 15.9 inches of rain, 4.5 inches above normal and the fifth wettest spring since statewide records began in 1895. May precipitation was 6.0 inches, 1.7 inches above normal and the 19th wettest May on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (

The wettest site this spring was St. David (near Peoria) with 27.7 inches of rain. The wettest site in May was Edwardsville with 11.7 inches. Both Peoria and Galesburg reported their wettest spring on record, 19.9 and 20.4 inches of rain, respectively.

At 15.9 inches, this spring had almost two more inches of rain than the 14.1 inches of last spring (2008). Historically, wet springs do not lead to wet summers. In fact, of the other nine wettest springs in the top-ten list, rainfall in the following summers was above normal in four cases and below normal in five cases with an overall average of 1 inch below normal.

The statewide average temperature for both May and spring as a whole have been near normal. Soil temperatures at the 4-inch level under bare ground on June 1 ranged from 70 to 72 degrees across much of Illinois and in the upper 60s in northeast Illinois.

The Illinois State Water Survey, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.

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