SPRINGFIELD – While there were some hot days, Illinois generally managed to avoid the heat wave experienced out West during July. Statewide July temperatures averaged 73.5°F, 2.3°F below normal, and the 20th coolest July since 1895. In fact, most Illinois locations had many fewer 90-degree days than normal. Chicago hit the 90-degree mark four times (three less than normal); Rockford, four times (two less); Moline, four times (five less); Peoria twice (seven less); Springfield once (10 less); Quincy five times (five less); and Carbondale only nine times (five less).
“Summer rainfall amounts typically vary widely across the state, and July was no exception, said State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Areas north of Interstate 80 received 5 inches or more rain, including 12.65 inches at Elburn (Kane County). While much of the rest of the state received 2–4 inches, some areas in west-central and southern Illinois received less than 2 inches all month. Statewide July totals averaged 3.67 inches (only 0.16 inches below normal).
The National Weather Service forecast calls for equal chances for August temperatures and precipitation above, below, or near normal. The August–October outlook calls for an increased chance for above normal temperatures but equal chances for precipitation above, below, or near normal.
“Right now, the U.S. Drought Monitor (http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html) classifies portions of western and southern Illinois as ‘abnormally dry’ so we will be monitoring those areas very closely,” concluded Angel.
***Data used for all statistics provided herein are from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and are based on preliminary data***