CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Illinois experienced its second wettest year on record when 50.7 inches of precipitation fell in 2008. This was 11.4 inches above normal. Only 1993 was wetter with 51.2 inches. Nine of the 12 months in 2008 received above-normal precipitation, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).
"2008 will be remembered for the considerable flooding problems throughout the state from January to December," Angel said.
Temperatures were cooler in 2008 as well. The statewide average temperature was 50.6 degrees, 1.1 degrees below normal and the 18thcoolest year on record. The coolest year in Illinois was 1917 with an average temperature of 48.6 degrees.
Cold and wet conditions prevailed in December. Statewide precipitation was 4.5 inches. This was 1.8 inches above normal and the eighth wettest December since 1895. Statewide temperatures averaged 26.3 degrees, 3.5 degrees below normal and the 24th coldest December since 1895.
The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.