No Surprise: July was Hot and Dry in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release August 7, 2012
No Surprise: July was Hot and Dry in Illinois
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - This July was the second warmest and fourth driest on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The statewide average temperature was 81.8 degrees, 6.4 degrees above normal. Only 1936 was warmer, with an average temperature of 83.1 degrees.

The statewide average precipitation was 1.5 inches, 2.6 inches below normal or about one-third of the amount that normally falls in July.  July in 1930 was the driest on record, with only 1.02 inches of rain.

This year so far was the warmest and third driest year-to-date on record.  The statewide average temperature for January–July 2012 was 56.9 degrees, 5.5 degrees above normal.

The statewide average precipitation for that same period was 14.1 inches, 9.8 inches below normal, or 59 percent of normal.  At this point, 2012 is one-half of an inch drier than 1988 but not nearly as dry as 1936 with 12.2 inches of precipitation or 1934 with 13.6 inches.

While above-normal temperatures have continued in August, some areas in the state have received 1 to 2 inches or more of rainfall so far. Remarkably, Carbondale reported 4.95 inches, which is more than the 3.03 inches they received in May, June, and July combined.

“While the rains we have received in August are welcome, we have a long way to go in the recovery of soil moisture, streamflows, lake levels, and groundwater,” reminds Angel.

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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