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Illinois State Water Survey

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  • 2006 Ranks as 9th Warmest Year for Illinois

    "Based on preliminary data, temperatures of 54.0°F statewide (1.8°F above 30-year normals) made 2006 the 9th warmest year in Illinoissince 1895. This was largely the result of a record-setting January last year with an average temperature of 37.9°F, 13.3°F above normal," said State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Weather Watchers Needed to Help Observe Rain, Hail, and Snow

    Weather affects all of us and can vary greatly even over short distances. In an effort to increase the density of rainfall observations over the United States, a fast-growing, volunteer program needs weather observers in Illinois.

    The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network already has more than 2500 observers in 14 states and originally began in Colorado. Program coordinators for Illinois include the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), the National Weather Service, and the University of Illinois Extension Natural Resources Management team.

  • January Was Warmer, Wetter than Usual

    "Despite the recent cold spell, statewide January temperatures of 29.5°F were 4.7°F above normal, and precipitation of 3 inches was 1.07 inches above normal, based on preliminary data. Temperatures were well above normal the first half of January (12.7°F above) and slightly below normal the second half (2.8°F below), the third consecutive month with above normal temperatures. November–January temperatures were 4.2°F above normal, the 7th warmest such period on record 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.

  • 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.

  • Sixth Warmest March on Record

    "After a cold February, the pendulum swung the other way, giving Illinois March temperatures averaging 47.6°F statewide, 6.5°F above normal and the 6th warmest March on record since 1895. Several cities, particularly Champaign-Urbana, set or tied daily high temperature records," 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.

  • Cool, Wet Weather Slows Northern and Central Illinois Planting

    "Combined with cooler temperatures, wet April conditions led to widespread corn planting delays in the northern two-thirds of the state, where precipitation averaged 4.05 inches (0.46 inches above normal) and up to 5–7 inches at some locations. April temperatures averaged 49.5°F statewide (2.7°F below normal), and statewide precipitation was 3.75 inches (just 0.05 inches below normal), based on preliminary data. Southern Illinois was drier, averaging 3.38 inches (0.74 inches below normal), and planting there is further along," 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.

  • Very Dry May, 8th Warmest on Record

    "May 2007 was the 8th warmest and 23rd driest May since 1895. Statewide May precipitation in Illinois was 2.62 inches (1.65 inches below normal), and statewide temperatures were 67.3°F degrees (4.5°F above normal). Fortunately, short-term impacts of the dry weather were minimal because of abundant soil moisture from rainfall in previous months. Timely and widespread rains across northern and central Illinois over the Memorial Day weekend also provided relief for shallow-rooted corn and soybeans in those areas," 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.

  • 2007 Governor's Conference on Management of the Illinois River System Scheduled

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is one of 60 groups cosponsoring the 11th Biennial Governor's Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System. "The Illinois River-Continuing Our Commitment" will be October 2-4 at Peoria's Holiday Inn City Centre Hotel.

  • High-density Network Measures Incredible Differences in Recent Heavy C-U Rains

    A high-density raingage network identified large differences in rainfall amounts from June 26-27 storms across Champaign County, Illinois. Amounts ranged from 2.58 inches just west of the I-57/I-72 interchange (west of Champaign) to less than 0.20 inch (southeast Urbana).

  • End-of-June Rainfall Provides Remarkable Transformation

    "The most outstanding feature of June weather was the change from very dry conditions the first 18 days to very wet ones the rest of the month. As a result, crops, lawns, and gardens recovered quickly from abnormally dry conditions that began in May," 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. Statewide June precipitation in Illinois was 4.47 inches (0.39 inches above normal), and statewide temperatures were 72.7°F degrees (0.8°F above normal). "That's quite a switch from the first 18 days of June, only 1.03 inches statewide, less than half the 2.42-inch normal for that period. The last 12 days of June had 3.44 inches, about twice the 1.66-inch normal," says Angel.

  • Cooler than Normal July Prevails

    "Statewide July temperatures averaged 73.5°F, 2.3°F below normal, and the 20th coolest July since 1895. While we had some hot days, Illinois generally managed to avoid the heat wave experienced out West during July," 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.

  • August Rainfall, Heaviest on Record in Northeastern Illinois

    "Rainfall amounts in northeastern Illinois already have established this as the wettest August and wettest summer since regional records began in 1895. As of the morning of August 24, rainfall for northeastern Illinois (including those counties from Boone to LaSalle and eastward) averaged 11.32 inches, 8.10 inches above normal, and beating the 1987 record of 11.02 inches. Totals for JuneAugust thus far in this area averaged 20.02 inches, 8.91 inches above normal, and beating the 1972 record of 19.26 inches," 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.

  • Lunar eclipse photos

    Samuel Shea, service climatologist at the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, snapped these spectacular shots of this morning's (8/28/2007) lunar eclipse. Sam set the alarm clock for an early 3:40 AM wake up, and came in to work just a bit early to set up his camera and prepare. These shots are the result, as viewed from the Illinois State Water Survey grounds in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Dryness and Drought in Illinois

    llinois Drought Update - 8/30/2007

    Illinois State Water Survey, Department of Natural Resources

    Precipitation deficits have increased across southern Illinois during August. The area has also been subject to very warm daytime temperatures, with maximum temperatures averaging above 95°F, or 8°F above normal. The combination of lack of precipitation and high temperatures has led to the intensification of drought to severe status as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The impacts of the drought are agricultural currently, although continued dryness in the fall may lead to water resource impacts. The severe drought area in southern Illinois is on the northwestern edge of a much larger and more severe drought encompassing an area from the southern Ohio Valley to the Gulf of Mexico. Substantial temperature relief and scattered heavy precipitation occurred over the evening of August 29-30. The next five days are expected to be dry throughout and gradually warming, but there may be a return to a more active weather pattern with better chances of rain during the first week of September.

  • August Provided Illinois with Extremes: Rainfall Records in North and Drought in South

    "Rainfall amounts in northeastern Illinois established this as the wettest August and wettest summer since regional records began in 1895. Rainfall for northeastern Illinois (including those counties from Boone to LaSalle and eastward) averaged 11.47 inches, 7.33 inches above normal, and beat the 1987 record of 11.02 inches. JuneAugust totals thus far in this area averaged 20.05 inches, 8.02 inches above normal, and beat the 1972 record of 19.26 inches. Northwestern Illinois received 8.45 inches in August, 4.05 inches above normal and the 5th wettest on record. Its JuneAugust total was 19.18 inches, 6.69 inches above normal and the 4th wettest on record," 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.

  • September, Warm and Dry across Illinois

    "A uniformly warm, dry September speeded fall harvest but further increased drought conditions in southern and central Illinois. Statewide rainfall was 1.71 inches, 1.48 inches below normal, and the 12th driest September since 1895. Temperatures in Illinois averaged 69.8 degrees, 3.6 degrees above normal, and the 15th warmest September on record," 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.

  • Warm October across Illinois Ranks among Top Ten

    "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.

  • ISWS Scientists Contribute to Scientific Documents Noted in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

    The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on December 10 in Oslo, Norway. The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is proud to announce that two of its atmospheric research scientists, Kenneth Kunkel and Stanley Changnon, have participated in the activities of the IPCC.

  • Ninth Warmest Fall on Record for Illinois

    "Fall temperatures averaged 57.0 degrees, 2.9 degrees above normal and the 9th warmest fall since 1895. This was largely the result of warmer September and October temperatures that were 3.6 and 4.9 degrees above normal, respectively. Statewide temperatures in November averaged 41.6 degrees, only 0.1 degree below normal," 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.

  • Illinoisans Experience Spring-like Weather in January

    On January 7, winter weather gave way to spring-like conditions with record-breaking warmth, heavy rains, and severe weather across Illinois. Record high temperatures were set at several locations, including Peoria (67 degrees), Chicago (65 degrees), and Champaign (67 degrees), according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • New Online County Maps Highlight Flood Hazard Areas in Illinois

    Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) engineers are bringing county floodplain maps into the 21st century, from two-dimensional paper products to digital illustrations using the latest geographical software and technology. The updated, online maps are easily accessible to community stakeholders for use in reducing the risk for flood damage.

  • Wide Range of Weather Hits Illinois This Winter

    The old saying, "if you don't like the weather in Illinois, just wait a minute," was certainly true this winter. Since December 1, Illinois has experienced heavy snows, heavy rains, flooding, and severe weather, including five tornadoes in January. Both precipitation and snowfall totals this winter have been significantly above average for much of the state, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Wettest February Ends Third Wettest Winter

    This past February was the wettest on record in Illinois with statewide records going back to 1895. The 4.48 inches of precipitation was 2.49 inches above average. February is typically one of the driest months of the year, averaging only 1.99 inches, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Mercury Levels in Illinois Rain and Snowfall Remain Unchanged

    Every state except for Alaska and Wyoming has issued an advisory warning pregnant women and children to limit fish consumption due to highly toxic methyl mercury that builds up in fish tissue. Data from the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN), which monitors mercury concentration and deposition in rain and snowfall, indicates that generally mercury levels in the atmosphere are falling, but not by much.

    Precipitation deposits mercury from the atmosphere to Illinois waters, although mercury occurs naturally in Illinois soils, according to David Gay, Acting Coordinator of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program, which coordinates the MDN at the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign, IL.

  • Heavy Rain in Southern Illinois Results in Widespread Flooding

    A storm system moving slowly through southern Illinois since March 17 has produced rainfall totals that have already exceeded 8 inches in some places south of Interstate 70, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Third Wettest Start to Year for Illinois

    For the fourth time this year, the monthly statewide precipitation has been above average, resulting in the third wettest January-April since 1895, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Study Shows Increasing Contamination in Chicago Area Groundwater

    Since the 1950s, chloride (salt) levels in shallow groundwater have increased significantly in Cook and surrounding counties, indicating that the quality of groundwater resources needed to meet future growing demand is deteriorating, according to Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) researchers.

  • Wet Weather Continues for Illinois

    For the fifth time this year, the monthly statewide precipitation has been above average, resulting in the third wettest January-May since 1895, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Midwest Heavy Rain and Flooding is Compared to 1993 Flood

    The recent heavy rain in the Midwest and flooding in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri are drawing comparisons with the weather and events associated with the Great Flood of 1993 on the Mississippi River, according to Steve Hilberg, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) at the Illinois State Water Survey. Climatologists there have compared 2008 weather events with what occurred in 1993 to place the current situation in perspective.

  • Wettest January-June on Record for Illinois

    Monthly statewide precipitation has been above average every month in the first half of 2008, resulting in the wettest January-June since 1895, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), at the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability at the University of Illinois.

  • Precipitation Totals Set Records in the Midwest

    Substantial recent flooding in the Midwest was caused by heavy precipitation that fell not only in June, but also throughout the first half of 2008. The NOAA Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) found that 286 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Network stations reported precipitation totals for the first half of 2008 that ranked within their top five records of the January-June period since the late 1800s in some cases.

  • Wet Weather Challenges the 2008 Growing Season

    Although recent Illinois weather conditions have been ideal for crops, many areas have been affected by late planting and significant flooding across the state, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Cool, Dry August for Illinois

    August statewide precipitation was below normal, ending an eight-month streak of above-normal precipitation in Illinois that began in December 2007, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu).

  • Arsenic in Private Wells is Hot Topic at ISWS Water Testing Lab

    September 18 is World Water Monitoring Day

    Since the national drinking water standard for arsenic became more stringent in 2006, arsenic in Illinois groundwater has become a health concern, especially for private well owners. Community water supplies are government-regulated, but private well owners must monitor their own water for safety, according to Brian Kaiser, associate chemist at the Illinois State Water Survey Public Service Laboratory at the University of Illinois Institute for Resource Sustainability.

  • Two Tropical Systems Boost Illinois Rainfall in September

    The remains of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike boosted rainfall totals in Illinois for September. September statewide precipitation was 8.0 inches, 4.8 inches above normal and the third wettest September on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu).

  • 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).

  • Regional Climate Models are Poised to Predict Future Climate of Illinois

    While scientists have predicted for years that the global climate will change in the future, an atmospheric scientist at the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign is working on a climate model at the regional scale to predict the impacts of climate change right here in 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).

  • Second Wettest Year on Record for Illinois

     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).

  • Lake-Effect Snow Poses Challenging Questions for Meteorologists

    Weather forecasters can predict an upcoming lake-effect snowstorm, but the intensity of the storm, which communities will be hit, how far inland the snow will extend, and how long it will last are much harder to foresee. Like storm chasers hoping to solve weather mysteries, Illinois State Water Survey Head of the Center for Atmospheric Science David Kristovich, students, and colleagues have flown over the Great Lakes inside developing storms to study lake effects on winter storms in lakeside communities.

  • Demissie Named Director of Illinois State Water Survey

    The Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability (INRS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has named Mike Demissie, head of the Center for Watershed Science at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), as new director of the Survey.

  • 12th Biennial Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System

    The Illinois State Water Survey is Co-Sponsoring:The Twelfth Biennial Conference on the . Management of the Illinois River SystemOctober 20-22, 2009Hotel Pere Marquette, Peoria, IL 

  • INRS/NRES Water Quality Seminar Series

    Prairie Research Institute and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) Water Quality Seminar Series

    The purpose of this seminar series is to bring together researchers at the University of Illinois conducting water quality research.

  • February: More Rain, Less Snow

    February statewide precipitation averaged 2.45 inches, 0.52 inches above normal. Ft. Massac State Park reported the highest monthly precipitation total of 6.03 inches, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey 

  • Where is Spring?

    A cold and wet first half of April has farmers still waiting to get into the fields and homeowners waiting to get into their gardens. Temperatures in the first two weeks of April were 4.5 degrees below normal and precipitation was 58 percent above normal. Many places in northern Illinois reported measureable snowfall from an April 5-6 storm, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu).

  • Flood Terminology Can be Misleading

    We have heard the term "500-year flood" often in the news these days, and yet these extremely rare events seem to occur too frequently. Just last week, Fargo, ND experienced record flooding only 12 years after the 500-year flood in 1997.

    The problem is, people often have a misconception about flood-related terms, according to Jim Angel, state climatologist at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Sixth Wettest April on Record

    April statewide rainfall averaged 6.2 inches, 2.4 inches above normal and tied with 1983 for the 6th wettest April since statewide records began in 1895. The wettest April on record was 7.1 inches in 1957. Normal statewide April rainfall is 3.8 inches, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu).

  • Fifth Wettest Spring on Record

    Wet conditions in March, April, and May resulted in 15.9 inches of rain, 4.5 inches above normal and the fifth wettest spring since statewide records began in 1895. May precipitation was 6.0 inches, 1.7 inches above normal and the 19th wettest May on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • ISWS Researchers Monitor Soybean Rust Spores in the Atmosphere

    Spores of soybean rust disease can travel great distances, buffeted by wind and rain, from field to field, crossing county, state, and even country lines. Using a network of precipitation-monitoring sites, researchers at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), a division of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota, are discovering where spores appear and studying how they might predict future soybean rust infestation in local areas.

  • Wet June for Illinois

    Statewide June precipitation in Illinois was 5.3 inches, 1.2 inches above normal, and the 25th wettest June on record. The total precipitation for the first half of 2009 was 24.2 inches, 4.8 inches above normal, and the 14th wettest January–June on record for the state, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu).