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  • October Was Warm and Dry in Illinois

    The statewide average rainfall for October was 1.4 inches, 1.5 inches below normal. This ranks as the 20th driest October on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • Is there enough food in the Great Lakes to support Asian Carp?

    In a press release issued by Illinois Indiana SeaGrant, INHS Aquatic Ecologists Walter Hill and Sandra Cooke suggest that due to other invasive species in the Great Lakes, Asian Carp may not find enough food to thrive. However, Hill does not see their results as a reason to relent on efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. "Given the potential consequences to Great Lakes ecosystems if these filter feeders do prove capable of establishing reproducing populations, efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes must not be lessened." Another story discusses some of the methods being used to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes, including an experiment being led by Blake Ruebush and Greg Sass on a Sound-Bubble-Strobe-Light-Barrier.

  • A Dry October in Illinois

  • October Rainfall Helps Soil Dryness

    Precipitation was near normal for the month of October in Illinois, at a statewide average of 3.2 inches. The long-term average, or normal, for October is 3.26 inches of precipitation, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • October Was Wetter Than Average for Illinois

    The statewide average precipitation for October in Illinois was 4.5 inches, which is 1.2 inches above average, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Juvenile cowbirds sneak out of the nest at night

    INHS Ornithologists Matt Louder, Mike Ward, Wendy Schelsky, and Jeff Hoover published a new paper about the behavior of juvenile cowbirds, a nest parasite. They found that juvenile cowbirds leave the host's nest at night and return in the morning. This may be part of their strategy involved in avoiding imprinting on their host species.

  • Late October Freeze Ends Growing Season in Illinois

    While Illinoisans in the far northern part of the state experienced freezing temperatures early in the month, the official close to the 2008 growing season at most locations occurred on October 28. Cold Canadian air pushed across the Midwest, producing lows that morning in the mid- to upper 20s across Illinois, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • October Solar Radiation in Illinois: Record High in 2010, Record Low Last Year

    Did it seem to you that the weather in October was quite a bit sunnier than in Octobers of the past? Do you remember last October as being rather cloudy?

    If these are your impressions, you are correct, according to Bob Scott, Director of the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program at the Illinois State Water Survey. Scott operates an array of weather sites across the state called the Illinois Climate Network, and one of the sensors on the stations measures solar radiation.

  • Waterfowl counts higher than average

    INHS Waterfowl Ecologist Aaron Yetter conducts weekly aerial surveys and on Nov 13 found more waterfowl than average for this time of year. Yetter counted 305,310 ducks along the Illinois River compared to the10-year average of 234,434 birds for this same week and 356,735 ducks on the Upper Mississippi River compared to the 10-year average of 226,801 birds. "It looks like we got a big push of new mallards. We also have well above average numbers of pintails, gadwalls, lesser scaup and other species," Yetter said.

  • Soil temperatures were warmer than normal in mid-November

    Soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 43.4 degrees on November 14, 4.5 degrees below the long-term average. Daily maximums reached into the low 50s with Fairfield reporting the day’s highest temperature at 52.7 degrees.

  • Soil Temperatures Still Warmer than Normal

    Soil temperatures declined through the first half of November, but still remain higher than normal, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • Small mosquitos more likely to carry dengue virus

    Research conducted by Dr. Barry Alto, and others, found that small mosquitos are more likely to carry the dengue virus than larger mosquitos. The study fed mosquitos dengue infected blood, and found that the smaller mosquitos had a higher rate of infection when tested. This research was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. An article discussing the work was also picked up by UPI. Dr. Alto is the director of the Medical Entomology Program at the Illinois Natural History Survey, a division of the University of Illinois' Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability. The full text of the UPI article can be viewed on NewsBank: Small mosquitoes are likely virus carriers and the abstract of the paper can be viewed on the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene site: Size Alters Susceptibility of Vectors to Dengue Virus Infection and Dissemination

  • State Climatologist Jim Angel authors Midwest chapter of 2018 National Climate Assessment

    If nothing is done about climate change by 2050, Midwest farmers could see their productivity decrease to a level not seen since the 1980s, according to a new report from 13 federal agencies.

  • Illinois was Cold and Dry in November

    November was much colder and drier than average. The statewide average temperature was 34.3 degrees, which is 8.2 degrees below average, and the fourth coldest November on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Warm and Damp November in Illinois

    Illinois experienced its third wettest and tenth warmest November on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • November in Illinois: Cool and dry with a dash of snow

    November in Illinois was slightly cooler and slightly drier than average, says the Illinois State Climatologist.

  • Temperature changes were common throughout November in Illinois

    The preliminary statewide average November temperature was 40.7 degrees, 1.0 degree below the 1991–2020 average and 53rd coldest on record going back to 1895. The preliminary statewide average total November precipitation was 1.00 inch, 2.31 inches below the 1991–2020 average and the 9th driest on record.  

  • Seventh Warmest November on Record

    Based on preliminary data in Illinois, the statewide average temperature for November was 46.9 degrees, 5.1 degrees above normal. This was the seventh warmest November on record for the state based on data going back to 1895, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • November 2013 in Illinois – Cold and Dry

    November 2013 will always be remembered for the tornado outbreak on November 17, 2013, that produced 25 tornadoes across Illinois based on the latest reports. While not as dramatic, weather conditions for the month of November were colder and drier than average, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • light frost on fall leaves

    Cold November brings an end to meteorological autumn

    November temperatures were well below the long-term average across the state, breaking hundreds of local daily records. The preliminary statewide November average temperature was 35.6 degrees, about 7 degrees below our 30-year normal and tied for the ninth coldest on record.

  • crate of nectarines being washed

    Illinois Farm to Food Bank Project connects specialty growers with food banks

    This fall, the Illinois Farm to Food Bank program wrapped up its pilot project with Rendleman and Flamm Orchards in Union County. Nearly 375,000 pounds of peaches and nectarines were distributed to food banks throughout Illinois.

  • Cool, Dry November Finishes with First Major Snow of the Season

    November in Illinois was both cooler and drier than normal. However, a low-pressure system at the end of the month brought the first significant snowfall of the season across northern and central Illinois, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • Warm November in Illinois

    The statewide average rainfall for October was 1.4 inches, 1.5 inches below normal. This ranks as the 20th driest October on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • Jim Angel

    Angel talks climate, career with Illinois News Bureau

    News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with State Climatologist Jim Angel about his career, climate change and the recently released National Climate Assessment.

  • ISAS grants will support research projects for 2 U of I students

    The ISAS Program on Ancient Technologies and Archaeological Materials (ATAM) Student Mini-Grants in Archaeometry are intended to assist U of I undergraduate or graduate students conduct archaeometric studies related to MA or PhD theses or capstone projects. 

  • Will Illinois have snow for Christmas?

    Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel wonders if it will be a white Christmas here in Illinois.

  • A Snowy Christmas in Illinois is Rare

    Every year in December, weather forecasters are asked the age-old question:  Will we have a white Christmas this year? An analysis of Illinois' history shows the chances are slim, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Waterfowl numbers better than last year

    Aerial surveys this November showed 20 times more ducks on Lake Chautauqua than during the same period last year. The Green-winged Teal made up the majority of those waterfowl, with conditions on the lake this year being favorable. INHS Waterfowl Biologist Randy Smith said, "Green-winged teal like it when the water is so shallow that they can stand up, just an inch or two deep with lots of vegetation." This year's surveys have found that Lake Chautauqua has more than one third of all the ducks at the 16 sites sampled in the Lower Mississippi River Valley.

  • Chances of a White Christmas in Illinois This year

    What are the chances of a white Christmas in Illinois this year?  Historically, the highest odds are in northern Illinois, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Illinois Farm Bureau highlights vital stats available from WARM

    Wind speed, precipitation, soil temperatures and pest degree days. Farmers can get those vital statistics and more from the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program (WARM). More than 150,000 visitors--farmers, governmental agencies, industry and academics--regularly check the website at isws.illinois.edu/warm.

  • State Climatologist provides context on December tornadoes

    Severe thunderstorms developed in the late afternoon, evening, and night of Dec. 10, resulting in strong tornadoes in Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center listed 85 tornadoes nationwide from the Dec. 10 outbreak, including 12 in Illinois. Also, six deaths were reported in the state.

  • Aaron Yetter elected Secretary of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society for 2009

    Aaron Yetter has been elected Secretary of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society for 2009. The states represented in the North Central Section, one of eight sections in the country, are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. More information about the mission of The Wildlife Society, and the purpose of its sections, can be found on the organization's homepage.

  • ISWS wins honorable mention in FEMA's CTP Recognition Program

    As a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP), the Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program of ISWS assesses local flood hazards, identifies high-risk areas, and engages community partners to inform, educate, and empower others to take action in preventing losses from natural hazards.

  • Geologic formation could hold clues to melting glacier floodwaters

  • One Million Metric Tons of CO2: A Minute With U. OF I. Geologist Robert Finley

  • Rendleman Orchards worker loads boxes onto a truck for delivery to a food bank (photo credit: Zach Samaras)

    TAP project helps Rendleman Orchard get surplus fruit to food banks

    Through a grant from USDA, ISTC and Feeding Illinois partnered with Rendleman Orchards during the 2021 growing season to ensure no fruit went to waste. 

  • Land purchase to benefit subterranean ecosystem and endangered species

    On 25 January 2014, INHS Biologist Steve Taylor gave a presentation at a ceremony announcing the purchase of 535 acres of land over Illinois' largest and most biologically diverse cave. Fogelpole Cave is home to several protected species including the endangered Illinois Cave Amphipod and Indiana Bat. Taylor serves as science advisor for the project, which is being managed by Clifftop, a non-profit organization.

  • snow-covered trees hanging over a path

    A mostly mild January ends with winter storms in Illinois

    January was quite a bit warmer and slightly wetter than average across the state, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Six new rattlesnake species in Western United States

    In a recently published paper, INHS Conservation Geneticist Mark Davis and colleagues recommended elevating several rattlesnake subspecies to full species status. The team collected data from 3000 individuals, measuring physical characteristics and analyzing genetic samples.

  • Sewage lagoons remove most - but not all - pharmaceuticals

  • Soil Temperatures in Illinois Normal So Far This Winter

    Soil temperatures across the state have been near normal on average so far this winter, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • Few Chicagoland wetlands left without non-native species, study finds

    The wetlands in and around Chicago are overwhelmingly invaded by non-native plants, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers. The study, which pulls together species occurrence data from over 2,000 wetlands in the urban region, is the first to describe wetland invasion patterns on such a large scale in the Chicagoland area.

  • White Nose Syndrome confirmed in Illinois

    INHS researchers and their collaborators have confirmed the presence of White Nose Syndrome (WNS)—a disease fatal to several of our bat species—in Illinois. Read more about WNS and the work INHS researchers are doing to understand the disease on the INHS website.

  • Illinois town provides a historical foundation for today's bee research

  • winter scene in the woods

    A wild February ended an otherwise mild winter

    The cold season came with a vengeance in February, bringing bitter cold and snow across the state. The preliminary statewide average February temperature was 20.0 degrees, 11.1 degrees below the 1991–2020 average.

  • Snowy, Wet February, 9th Coldest on Record

    "Old Man Winter weather arrived in full force across much of Illinois in February, the 9th coldest on record since 1895, with a statewide temperature of 21.9°F, 8.9°F below normal, based on preliminary data. Snowfall generally was 2–6 inches (southern Illinois), 6–25 inches (central Illinois), and 12–25 inches (northern Illinois). Heaviest amounts occurred in east-central Illinois, with Sidell (Champaign County) reporting 27.5 inches, the most for any Illinois station.

  • Warmer Soil Temperatures Continue Into February and March

     Soil temperatures continued to rise across Illinois in February and March, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program Manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Piotr Szocinski crouches in the back of a truck to load soil samples

    Digging into soil data helps inform green infrastructure design

    PRI geologists were part of a multidisciplinary research project aimed at helping Illinois communities add green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to their strategies to prevent local flooding. Pilot projects focused on Calumet City and Midlothian. 

  • Rising temperatures could benefit the Snapping Turtle

    The size and quantity of eggs produced by the Common Snapping Turtle may vary with fall and spring temperatures, according to a new study by Earlham College and INHS researchers.

  • INRS Naturally Illinois Expo attracts thousands

    The Naturally Illinois Expo, held March 11th and 12th, was attended by a record 1700 students from 22 Illinois schools on Friday. On Saturday, many of these students returned to share the Expo with their families. There were 54 exhibits from the 5 surveys. INHS scientists provided exhibits on plants, backyard insects, fossil insects, turtles, mammals, birds, aquatic pollutants, mosquitoes and their diseases, crayfish, fish, mussels and exotic invasive species. Other favorites included Kids' Fossil Dig, Archaeological Dig, Weather on Your Birthday and Biofuels.