Record-Setting December Occurred in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release January 4, 2016
Record-Setting December Occurred in Illinois
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - December was the warmest and second wettest for that month on record in Illinois, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

Flooded farm field in Southern Illinois
Flooded farm field in Southern Illinois

The statewide average temperature for December was 40.6 degrees, an incredible 10.7 degrees above average and the warmest December on record. This December beat the old record by 1.7 degrees that was set in 1923 with 38.9 degrees.

The statewide average precipitation was 6.70 inches, 4.01 inches above average, and the second wettest on record. The wettest December on record was in 1982 with 7.17 inches. Like this year, that was also during a major El NiƱo event.

The record-setting December finishes off the sixth wettest year on record with 48.49 inches, 8.53 inches above average. The warmer December was offset by a very cold February. As a result, the annual average temperature for Illinois was 52.8 degrees, 0.4 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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