A Wet May, Spring, and Year to Date for Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release June 3, 2013
A Wet May, Spring, and Year to Date for Illinois
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, sheppard@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The statewide precipitation for May was 6.87 inches, 2.25 inches above the long-term average, and the 12th wettest May on record, according to Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist at the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

The wettest May on record was 1943 with 8.87 inches. In comparison, May 2012 was much drier with 2.50 inches for the entire month.

Spring Photo

The monthly precipitation totals in western Illinois are impressive. The heaviest amounts were contained in the area bound by St. Louis in the south, Springfield to the east, and Galesburg to the north. Radar-estimated precipitation amounts in those areas were as high as 12 to 15 inches. The largest monthly total at a single site so far was at Prairie City (McDonough County) with 14.12 inches.

On the other end of the scale, somewhat drier conditions prevailed in parts of Illinois north of Interstate 80. Amounts of 3 to 5 inches were common across the region. One of the lowest monthly totals was at Freeport (Stephenson County) with 3.19 inches.

Statewide precipitation for March–May (the traditional spring months) was 16.71 inches, 5.31 inches above the long-term average, and the 5th wettest spring on record. The wettest spring on record was 1927 with 18.59 inches. Spring 2012 was much drier with only 7.79 inches of precipitation.

The statewide precipitation for January–May (year to date) was 23.55 inches, 7.93 inches above the long-term average and the wettest January–May on record. January–May of 2012 received only 10.87 inches of precipitation and was the 12th driest on record.

The statewide average temperature for May was 63.6 degrees, just 1.1 degrees above average.


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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