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No surprise: July was hot and dry in Illinois

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[August 10, 2012]  CHAMPAIGN -- This July was the second-warmest and fourth-driest on record, according to Jim Angel, state climatologist, 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, which is 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 on record to date. 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, which is 9.8 inches below normal, or 59 percent of normal. At this point, 2012 is a half-inch drier than 1988 but not nearly as dry as 1936, with 12.2 inches, and not as dry as 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.

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"Although the rains we have received in August are welcome, we have a long way to go in the recovery of soil moisture, stream flows, lake levels and groundwater," Angel said.


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.

[Text from file received from the Illinois State Water Survey]

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