October in Illinois: Cool and Wet, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release November 1, 2012
October in Illinois: Cool and Wet
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, sheppard@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - October 2012 was cooler and wetter than normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The statewide average temperature was 52.2 degrees, 1.9 degrees below normal. Most of the state reached lows of 32 degrees, and much of central and northern Illinois were down to 28 degrees or colder, signaling the end of the growing season for most outdoor plants.

Fall Photo
Photo courtesy of Mark Dalzell

The statewide average precipitation was 3.9 inches, 0.7 inches above normal. The wettest area of the state was between Quincy and Champaign where precipitation totals ranged from 4 to 7 inches.

Some of the driest areas were in southern Illinois south of I-64 and in northern Illinois north of I-80. Some of that area had precipitation totals of less than 3 inches.

The statewide average precipitation for January-October was 27.1 inches, nearly 5.8 inches below average. This made it the 15th driest January-October and virtually tied with 2005. The driest was in 1901 with 22.0 inches. The second driest was 1988 with 22.1 inches.

The statewide average temperature for January-October was 58.9 degrees, 3.4 degrees above normal. That made it the second warmest on record. The warmest was 1921 with 59.2 degrees.

“Soil moisture and stream flows in many areas have begun to recover from this summer’s drought thanks to the rains and cooler temperatures. We should see further improvements in November,” 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.

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