August Rains Provide Limited Drought Relief, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release September 6, 2005
August Rains Provide Limited Drought Relief
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220,
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540,

Statewide August rainfall in Illinois averaged 4.07 inches (0.42 inches above normal), but rainfall since March averaged 15.72 inches, 7.11 inches below normal and Illinois’ 7th driest March–August since 1895. Despite rains in August, both northeastern and east-central Illinois are still short, 0.9 inches below normal for the month,” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

While all of Illinois experienced a dry spring, southern Illinois received beneficial rains from the remains of three tropical storms: Arlene in June, Dennis in July, and Katrina in August. As a result, rainfall this summer was 2 inches above normal in far southern Illinois. Statewide June–August rainfall was 9.85 inches, 1.71 inches below normal, but 7.94 inches, 4.09 inches below normal in northeastern Illinois, the driest region.

Across the state, rainfall has been low since March 1. For example, Chicago O’Hare received only 10.2 inches versus its normal 21.5 inches, Rockford (14.3 inches versus 23.1 inches), Moline (9.0 inches versus 24.1 inches), Peoria (9.3 inches versus 21.6 inches), Quincy (12.0 inches versus 22.2 inches), Springfield (12.2 inches versus 21.3 inches), Champaign (15.7 inches versus 24.9 inches), Belleville (15.1 inches versus 22.4 inches), and Carbondale (16.3 inches versus 24.4 inches).

August temperatures averaged 75.3 degrees (1.7 degrees above normal) and ranged from 101°F at Lebanon on August 13 to 47°F at Mount Carroll (northwestern Illinois) on August 23. Elizabeth had the highest one-day precipitation total (3.16 inches on August 19). Waltonville had the highest monthly total (6.90 inches).

“While good rains this fall may alleviate drought conditions, there’s also the possibility of a protracted drought such as occurred in 1988–1989. Check the ISWS’ special drought Web site for regular updates (,” says Angel.

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