"With temperatures in Illinois averaging 59.5 degrees, 4.8 degrees above normal, October was the 9th warmest since 1895," says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Temperatures in August and September also were above normal by 4.7 and 3.5 degrees, respectively. "As a result, AugustOctober was the third warmest such period on record, with temperatures averaging 4.4 degrees above normal," says Angel.
Statewide rainfall was 3.52 inches, 0.60 inches above normal, with common amounts of 35 inches throughout Illinois. Rains were heaviest in far southern Illinois, where several sites reported October totals of more than 5 inches, including 10.79 inches at Cairo.
"These significant rains came at the end of the growing season when demands on soil moisture were pretty low. Soil moisture is already starting to recover, and only west-central Illinois remains dry. Much of that area is still classified as either abnormally dry or in moderate drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor," says Angel.
"The National Weather Service outlook for November calls for a greater chance of precipitation below normal and equal chances of above, below, and normal temperatures. The DecemberFebruary outlook also calls for temperatures and precipitation above normal. Should that prove true, it should help ease the drought situation in west-central Illinois," concludes Angel.
Disclaimer: Data used for all statistics provided herein are from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and are based on preliminary data.