About The Illinois State Water Survey

Illinois State Climatologist

Office of the State Climatologist

The State Climatologist serves as the authoritative spokesperson on matters of climate science for the State of Illinois and is responsible for conducting research on and monitoring Illinois weather and climate conditions.

Activities of the State Climatologist program include:

  • Education and outreach: informing the people of Illinois about long-term climate trends and climate variability; monitoring and responding to current weather and climate conditions, such as drought, heat waves, and heavy rainfall events; providing climate information to state agencies, policymakers, businesses, farmers, and other stakeholders; using social media, media interviews, and presentations to effectively reach Illinoisans
  • Research: conducting applied climate research on issues that impact Illinois, such as drought, heat waves, and heavy rainfall events and reporting the results of this research; working with local, state, and federal agencies to understand and respond to climate-related issues.
  • Data Management: preserving Illinois climate and weather records that date to the 1800s, and extracting insights from these data

State Climatologist Trent Ford

Trent Ford

Hydroclimatologist Trent Ford, a native of Roanoke, Illinois, became State Climatologist in 2019. He previously was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he taught courses on weather, climate, and society and hazardous weather and researched heat wave predictability and ways to use soil moisture data to improve drought monitoring. He earned a bachelor’s in geography from Illinois State University before completing his master’s and PhD at Texas A&M University.

Illinois State Climatologist website
Contact: statecli@isws.illinois.edu or 217-333-0729


Previous Illinois State Climatologists were Jim Angel (1996-2018), Wayne Wendland (1981–1996), and Stan Changnon (1972–1980).

For more information, visit the Illinois State Climatologist website, follow the State Climatologist on Twitter, or contact the State Climatologist's Office at statecli@isws.illinois.edu or (217) 333-0729.

Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr., MC-674
Champaign, IL 61820-7463
Email us with questions or comments.


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