Rainy and Dry, Chilly and Warm: 2011 Was a Unique Year, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release January 10, 2012
Rainy and Dry, Chilly and Warm: 2011 Was a Unique Year
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, sheppard@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The year 2011 was the 10th wettest year and a year of extreme monthly temperatures and precipitation, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The statewide average precipitation for 2011 in Illinois was 45.62 inches; 5.43 inches above the 1981-2010 average of 40.20 inches. It was also the wettest April, 8th wettest June, and 6th wettest November on record.

On the other hand, it was the 6th driest August and 21st driest October on record.

The statewide average temperature for 2011 in Illinois was 53.0 degrees; 0.8 degrees above the 1981-2010 average of 52.2 degrees. It was the 23rd warmest year on record. It was also the 4th warmest July, the 7th warmest November, and 8th warmest December on record. Yet it was the 17th coldest January and 10th coldest September since 1895.

Du Quoin came close to reaching the state record for annual precipitation when it reported 72.11 inches. The state record was 74.58 inches, set in New Burnside in 1950.

However, not everywhere was so wet in 2011. A few sites in central and western Illinois reported 30 inches or less of precipitation. These included Lake Springfield with 25.34 inches and Illinois City Dam #16 with 27.47 inches. One of the driest major cities was Springfield with 30.61 inches, reported at the airport.

The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.

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