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Water Survey

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  • June soils are hot and dry across Illinois

    Illinois’ soils are warm and dry in mid-June after record-breaking hot weather blanketed the state.

  • Complex Hydraulic Flow Patterns of Cache River

    Data from the sky inform flood planning

    CHAMP is at the helm of one of the largest 2D models in Illinois, spanning five southern Illinois counties – Johnson, Pope, Massac, Pulaski, and Alexander. The extremely flat topography of this region, known as the Cache River Valley, follows the Cache River system and the historic path of the Ohio River that’s been heavily manipulated by humans over time.

  • water pipe

    ISWS-Waterly partnership digitizes groundwater data

    Leveraging Waterly software will allow the ISWS groundwater science team to acquire almost real-time water pumping data that will amplify the team’s ability to forecast aquifer changes and gain a better understanding of current and future water risks across Illinois.

  • May brought spring and a taste of summer to Illinois

    Illinois temperatures in May varied from periods of below average to periods of far above average, breaking records across the state, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey. Rainfall was slightly below normal in May statewide.

  • Soils are dry with warmer weather in May

    Hotter weather in the first half of May has caused warmer, drier soils across Illinois.

  • Bondville weather station

    Bondville weather station has a long history of research partnerships

    Like clockwork, monitoring towers and scientific gadgets run continuously at the Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site (BEARS) in central Illinois, gathering data on current weather, climate, and atmospheric conditions. The facility caters mainly to government agencies and university researchers, offering services that few other weather stations provide.

  • April conditions in Illinois featured colder weather and frequent rainfall

    April was colder than normal in Illinois, with freezing temperatures occurring into mid-month and as far south as St. Louis Metro East, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey. Rainfall in April was frequent but averaged near normal statewide for the month.

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks in Rock Island County, Illinois

    Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) hydrologic and hydraulic modeling in Rock Island County, Illinois is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify areas of high flood risk for flood mitigation planning.

  • Soils in Illinois are cool and wet in mid-April

    Illinois soils remain cooler and wetter than normal in mid-April, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Temperature swings were typical for March in Illinois

    As is typical for March weather, Illinois temperatures varied from day to day, with an average statewide temperature 1.5 degrees above normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey. March average precipitation was 1.32 inches above normal.

  • PRI scientists provide winter soil conditions and an insect pest forecast for Illinois

    Near-average winter soil and air temperatures are an indication that crop insect pests may have survived the cold in Illinois, according to scientists Jennie Atkins and Kelly Estes at the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois.

  • An active February finishes climatological winter

    The preliminary statewide average February temperature was 27.2 degrees, 3.0 degrees below the 1991–2020 average and tied for 42nd coldest on record going back to 1895. The preliminary statewide average total February precipitation was 3.41 inches, 1.48 inches above the 1991–2020 average and the 9th wettest on record statewide.  

  • National Science Foundation funds project to improve weather forecasts for cities

    Scientists at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) have begun a new project that will ultimately improve weather forecasting of severe storms and heatwaves in cities across the US.

  • 2022 begins with a dry and cold January

    The preliminary statewide average January temperature was 21.1 degrees, 5.6 degrees below the 1991–2020 average. The preliminary statewide average total January precipitation was 1.17 inches, 1.14 inches below normal.

  • a hand clad in a purple latex glove holds a small snake against a grassy backdrop

    PRI offers applied science internships for summer 2022

    PRI is offering hands-on summer internships that will enable undergraduate students from populations underrepresented in graduate study at Illinois to explore careers in applied science. There are opportunities in atmospheric science and climate; biology, ecology, and environmental science; geology; sustainable energy; and water supply and safety. To see all of the internship options and to apply, visit https://go.illinois.edu/PRI-interns

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks in Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, and Winnebago counties

    Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) hydrologic and hydraulic modeling in Boone, DeKalb, Ogle and Winnebago Counties, Illinois is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify areas of high flood risk for flood mitigation planning.

  • Scientist-community interaction is a boon for water supply planning

    When it comes to water supply planning, stakeholders want to know when their community will be at risk for water shortages. Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) scientists involved in community groundwater modeling are touting the value of engaging those stakeholders to reduce uncertainty and help them understand how the models work.

  • December 2021 was exceptionally warm

    Provisional data show December was among the top 5 warmest on record in Illinois, with no snow on Christmas.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • October in Illinois had warm temperatures and plenty of rain

    October 2021 in Illinois was the eighth warmest and the fourth wettest October on record going back to 1895, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • ISWS researcher contributes to award-winning Chicago Regional Climate Action Planning Partnership

    Illinois State Water Survey climate researcher Ashish Sharma contributed his expertise on climate change and its impacts on urban communities and associated solutions to the recently released Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region. Last week the collaborative group behind the plan, which includes non-profits, universities, Argonne National Laboratory and municipalities, received a 2021 Climate Leadership Award from the Climate Registry and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

  • Illinois soils are warmer and wetter in mid-October

    A wet October has caused soil moisture to rise across the state.

  • Soils are still too warm for safe and effective fall fertilizer application

    Favorable weather has helped push Illinois’ fall harvest progress well ahead of normal. As a result, producers may be considering early application of fall fertilizer following harvest. University of Illinois experts caution that fall nitrogen fertilizer application on soils warmer than 50 degrees can result in loss of effectiveness and potential environmental issues. 

  • A warm, dry September extended summer in Illinois

    The statewide average temperature of 69.4 degrees in September was 2.6 degrees above average, but the humidity was lower than in the previous months. 

  • irrigation system watering young plants in a field

    Time for Illinoisans to report irrigation water use

    The deadline is approaching for Illinoisans to report their 2021 irrigation water use to the Illinois Water Inventory Program. The deadline for individual reporting is Jan. 1, 2022, while aggregate reports are due by March 1, 2022.

  • Researchers study radium in aquifers of north-central Illinois

    Walt Kelly, Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) groundwater geochemist, answered questions about the findings of his recent study on radium levels in groundwater of the St. Peter Sandstone aquifer, with a study area in north-central Illinois. Radium levels are above the drinking water standard in many community water supply wells open to the aquifer.

  • Mid-September soils across Illinois were warmer and drier than normal

    Soils remained warm in mid-September because of hotter than normal weather across Illinois. 

  • TapTalk icon

    Water Survey team launches podcast for drinking water professionals

    The team behind WaterOperator.org and Private Well Class is launching a new podcast to strengthen connections between the many stakeholders involved in ensuring that every American has water that is safe to drink. The first two episodes of Tap Talk: The Drinking Water in Rural America Podcast are available now! 

  • Hot and stormy end to summer

    August temperatures were largely above normal across Illinois. Because of the heat and humidity, August precipitation was accompanied by frequent severe weather events including several tornadoes, hail, and strong winds.

  • Water Survey simulation of Aug. 12 Gibson City flood

    Water Survey simulation matches progress of Gibson City flood

    A model simulation produced by the Illinois State Water Survey shows the progression of the flood in Gibson City from the morning to the evening of Aug. 12, 2021

  • Illinois soils are slightly cooler in mid-August

    Soil temperatures have decreased in mid-August as cooler weather moved into the state.

  • COVID-19 virus

    Sampling sewer water for COVID-19 in the community 

    Illinois State Water Survey researchers are part of a project to look for traces of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in sewer water in order to help monitor the spread of infection.  

  • July brought high humidity and above average rainfall

    Rainfall was above average in July in Illinois with slightly cooler temperatures and very high humidity, even by recent climate standards, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Aerial view of the Kaskaskia River

    Understanding water’s role in decarbonization

    ISTC researchers needed to find adequate and reliable water sources to keep a carbon capture system running without compromising fragile aquatic ecosystems, local economies, and nearby communities’ water supply. Fortunately, ISTC knew the right expertise was close at hand in another unit within its parent Prairie Research Institute – The Water Survey’s Watershed Science team.

  • Irrigation equipment over a wheat field

    Integrating surface water and groundwater modeling

    Water Survey researchers are exploring ways to simulate the interactions between groundwater and surface water by combining existing modeling technology, including investigating how groundwater elevations change in response to storm events and subsequent river rises.

  • Thunderstorm over a field

    Increasing opportunities through hazard mitigation

    The ISWS Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program's (CHAMP) more than 25 professional staff with expertise in engineering, GIS, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, hazard mitigation planning, and community engagement help communities build unique and comprehensive Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (NHMP) to assess local hazards, identify high-risk areas, and take action in preventing losses from natural disasters. 

  • Soils are drier for most of Illinois in mid-July

    Illinois soils have been drying out after the wet weather at the end of June, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Chicago skyline

    Climate studies focus on a new priority: urban areas

    Climate change affects cities, and cities affect the climate. Urban areas are hotspots for heat waves, flooding, and air pollution that ultimately affect human health and welfare. Scientists at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) study the relationship between cities and climate to determine ways to make cities more resilient to these challenges.

  • June brought all kinds of weather to start the summer in Illinois

    June in Illinois started out particularly warm and ended with above average rainfall from numerous storms, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Illinois soil conditions are hot and dry in June

    Warmer weather has led to higher than normal soil temperatures for Illinois in June.

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks in Bureau County, Illinois

    Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) hydrologic and hydraulic modeling in the Villages of Tiskilwa and Walnut (Bureau County, Illinois) is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify areas of high flood risk for flood mitigation planning.

  • May brought a cool end to a warm spring

    May temperatures varied substantially across Illinois, with an average temperature 2.5 degrees below the 30-year normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Scientists study regional benefits of limiting climate warming

    Limiting the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial conditions compared with 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), as predicted for the future, will avoid more intense and more frequent heavy precipitation and extreme heat waves, according to a recent study at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) that explored global warming’s effects on specific U.S. regions.

  • Rock Island county map of structure-based flood risk assessment

    FEMA honors Water Survey and Illinois Department of Natural Resources

    The Illinois State Water Survey and the Office of Water Resources in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources took first place in FEMA’s 2021 National Cooperating Technical Partner Recognition Award for their statewide efforts to assess flood risk at the individual property level. 

  • Soil temperatures cooler in May but are rising

    Cooler weather led to a decline in soil temperatures in the first half of May, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • April brought a mix of winter, spring, and summer weather

    Illinois temperatures varied considerably in April from way above to significantly below normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Corn stalks in summer

    Climatologist: Vegetation plays a role in developing flash droughts

    Farmland vegetation and grasses can affect both the frequency and extent of flash droughts, say scientists at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), who hope to better understand the phenomenon and improve early warnings.

  • PRI experts help assess climate change impact on Illinois

    Illinois is undergoing a rapid change in weather patterns that has started to transform the state, according to a new scientific assessment by The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. Scientific experts from across PRI contributed to the report, including Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford; Water Survey scientists Daniel Abram, Walt Kelly, Momcilo Markus, Sally McConkey, and Ashish Sharma; and Natural History Survey scientists Sergiusz Czesny, Jim Ellis, Chris Stone, and John Taft.

    Read more about the report and its findings from the Nature Conservancy.

  • Near-surface soil temperatures and moisture levels are declining in mid-April

    Colder weather in the second week of April has caused soil temperatures to decline in Illinois.