Prairie Research Institute News

blog navigation

Illinois State Water Survey

blog posts

  • Illinois soils are warmer, drier in mid-July

    Soils in mid-July are continuing to warm across the state, surpassing average temperatures from last year, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • June 2019: Stormy and wet with a warm finish

    June 2019 will be a month remembered for a continuation of above average precipitation and near to seasonably cool temperatures, despite an unseasonably warm finish.

  • Illinois soils are cooler and wetter in mid-June

    Soil temperatures are increasing after a cooling period the second week of June, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • May 2019: Exceptionally wet and stormy across Illinois

    May 2019 will be a month remembered for exceptional, record-breaking wet conditions locally, as well as an active, stormy, and at times severe weather pattern across the state.

  • Water Survey hosts National Private Well Conference

    The Illinois State Water Survey organized and hosted the 2nd National Private Well Conference May 21-23, 2019 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There were over 120 attendees from 33 states at the event, which featured 25 presentations, a driller's panel, and a dozen 5-minute lightning talks.

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks along the Wabash River

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) announced today that new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of the Wabash River and select tributaries is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify high flood-risk areas within the Lower Wabash and Middle Wabash-Busseron watersheds for flood mitigation planning in Illinois.

  • Soils are warming and drying in mid-May

    After a cooling spell last weekend, soil temperatures are once again rising in Illinois, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • April 2019: An active weather pattern and late-season snow

    April 2019 will be a month remembered for a continuation of an active and stormy weather pattern across Illinois, with two short-lived, yet notable and uncommon late-season snow events which impacted many in the northern portions of the state.

  • Soil temperatures are warming in mid-April

    Soil temperatures are rising throughout Illinois in mid-April, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey. Soil temperatures in Illinois were near normal the first half of the month with an average of 50° at depths of 4 inches under bare soil, 1° above the long-term average.   

  • March 2019: A cold start with a stormy, wet finish to the month

    March 2019 will be a month remembered for an unseasonably cold start, followed by an active and wet weather pattern which resulted in a continuation of excess soil moisture, and major flooding events on many local streams and rivers.

  • Project maps out building footprints in Illinois to study natural disasters

    Researchers at the University of Illinois are keeping an eye on areas of Illinois that are at high risk for flooding, not only county by county, but also building by building.

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks in Peoria County

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) announced today that new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of select streams in Peoria County is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify high flood-risk areas for flood mitigation planning.

  • Bitter cold in January likely won’t reduce field crop pests in the spring

    Despite the record cold air temperatures, soil temperatures averaged slightly warmer than normal this winter. Consequently, the Arctic conditions are expected to have little effect on overwintering field crop insect pest populations.

  • Stormy, wet, and chilly February for Illinois

    February was particularly cold and stormy in Illinois, with an almost constant succession of storms resulting in moderate snow accumulations for the northern counties and persistent rain events and widespread flooding for the far southern counties.

  • Water Survey reports on water demand in Middle Illinois, Kankakee, and Rock River regions

    The Water Survey has published reports on water demand in three water supply planning regions in Illinois: the Middle Illinois (ISWS Contract Report 2018-0), Kankakee (ISWS Contract Report 2019-01), and Rock River (ISWS Contract Report 2019-02) regions.

  • Survey seeks ideas to help specialty crop growers make pest control decisions

    Researchers at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute are developing new pest degree day tools for the state’s specialty crop growers. A short online survey offers growers the opportunity to contribute their opinions on how this information is delivered.

  • A warm start to January, followed by snow and record-breaking cold

    January 2019 will be a month remembered by an unseasonably warm start, followed by a torrent of winter storms, and ending with a monumental Arctic air outbreak that shattered many record-cold temperatures across the state.

  • Previous records slashed with monumental cold conditions in Illinois

    Illinois has been experiencing some of the coldest weather that has been seen in decades and, in some locations, ever.

  • Illinois Climate Network marks 30 years of monitoring Illinois weather and soil

    It’s been 30 years since the Illinois State Water Survey launched the Illinois Climate Network (ICN) to monitor the state’s weather and soils. The 19 ICN stations around the state collect data on wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity, precipitation, barometric pressure, solar radiation, soil temperatures and soil moisture. Water Survey staff also calculate data on dew point, degree days, potential evapotranspiration, and temperature inversion. All of this information—an annual total of 2 million records—is used by farmers, researchers, and businesses for decision making and planning.

  • Microplastic contamination found in common source of groundwater

    A new study by PRI scientists is the first to report microplastics in fractured limestone aquifers – a groundwater source that accounts for 25 percent of the global drinking water supply.

  • Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force issues recommendations

    A task force formed by the Illinois General Assembly to identify gaps in protection of the Mahomet Aquifer has issued its final recommendations. Illinois State Water Survey hydrologist George Roadcap served as a member of the task force, and other Prairie Research Institute scientists provided data and expertise to support the group’s yearlong effort.

  • Annual precipitation records were broken across the Midwest

    More than 120 stations across the Midwest had their wettest year on record in 2018, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). 

  • December in Illinois: Tornadoes, warm temperatures, and little snow

    With warmer than average temperatures, December 2018 brought slight snowfall and a historic late-season severe weather outbreak to Illinois.

  • Brian Kerschner steps up to serve as spokesperson for weather and climate issues

    With the retirement of Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Brian Kerschner is stepping up to temporarily serve as the Illinois State Water Survey’s point person on weather and climate issues while a search is conducted for the new full-time Illinois State Climatologist.

  • Meet new ISWS hydrologist Tyler Pierson

    The Water Survey has a new face in the Groundwater Science Section – Tyler Pierson, who will be working on an ongoing dewatering project in East St. Louis funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

  • November was cold and snowy in Illinois

    The statewide average temperature for November in Illinois was 35.3 degrees, which is 7.2 degrees below normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. November 2018 was ranked the eighth coldest November on record.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Soil Temperatures Continue to Decline in November

    Soil temperatures have fallen significantly throughout the state in November, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel to retire in December

    Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist, has announced that he will retire in December 2018 after 34 years at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). In his current position, Angel has served as the primary source of science-based weather and climate information and services for the state of Illinois since 1997.

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks along the Little Wabash River

    The Illinois State Water Survey announced today that new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of the Little Wabash River is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify areas of high flood risk along the Little Wabash River and its tributaries for flood mitigation planning.

  • ISGS, ISWS install new wells for national groundwater monitoring

    Scientists and staff from the Illinois State Geological Survey and the Illinois State Water Survey  ollaborated with county and local governments in Kane County to install groundwater-monitoring wells in northeast Illinois as part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Ground Water Monitoring Network

  • Illinoisans experienced bone-chilling weather changes in October

    The Illinois weather in October 2018 dished up a mixed bag of conditions with temperatures in the 90s, the first fall frost, the first snow of the season, and widespread heavy rains, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Soils cool across Illinois

    Cooler weather has caused soil temperatures to decrease across the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Report describes water resources available in Middle Illinois River region

    A report on the water resources available in the Middle Illinois River water supply planning region is now available (ISWS Contract Report 2018-02). The results of the study are generally positive for the region, with abundant water available for most needs.

  • September in Illinois had above-normal temperatures and rainfall

    The Illinois statewide average temperature for September was 70.0 degrees, 3.8 degrees above normal and the 12th warmest September on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. 

  • Drying, warming soils across Illinois

    Soils are drying out after the early September rain, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Illinois was warmer and wetter than normal in August and in the summer

    The statewide average temperature for Illinois in August was 74.9 degrees, 1.3 degrees above normal. The statewide average rainfall was 5.25 inches, 1.66 inches above normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. 

  • Soils were drying in mid-August

    Drier weather this month has caused declining soil moisture, especially in central Illinois, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • July was slightly cooler and drier than normal in Illinois

    The statewide average temperature in July was 75.1 degrees, just 0.3 degrees below normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. 

  • Warmer soils continue into July

    Soils continue to be warmer than normal in mid-July, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Visit the ISWS at the 2018 Illinois State Fair!

    Water Survey staff will be demonstrating how contamination moves through groundwater and into private wells and how well pumps work, and will provide free information on testing and maintenance of private wells, in Conservation World from August 10 through August 19.

  • Laura Keefer named Illinois State Hydrologist

  • Illinois has warm, wet June

  • Soils across most of Illinois are warmer than normal

  • Warmest May on record for Illinois

  • Soil temperatures across Illinois are rising

  • Network now monitors air temperature inversions in several locations

  • April 2018 was second-coldest on record for Illinois

    Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel reports that the statewide average temperature for Illinois in april was 44.7 degrees, 7.9 degrees below normal. The only colder April on records was in 1907, with an average temperature of 43.1.

  • Water Survey to receive $1M for rural outreach programs

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) will receive more than $1 million in funding through 2021 to support its drinking water outreach programs for private well owners and small, rural communities.