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Illinois State Water Survey

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  • Soil temperatures and moisture levels declining in early March

  • Soil temperatures this winter in Illinois were warmer than normal

  • 2018 Celebration of Excellence

    On April 11, the Prairie Research Institute honored employees for their outstanding achievements and excellent work. Selection committees composed of staff from across the organization reviewed multiple strong nominations before selecting the 2018 honorees.

  • Laura Keefer named Illinois State Hydrologist

  • 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.

  • Network now monitors air temperature inversions in several locations

  • Users of data on Illinois environmental conditions will now register for access

    Starting this month, users will be asked to register to access data on Illinois’ weather, soil, and water conditions on the University of Illinois’ Water & Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program website. Data are still free of charge.

  • ISWS investigates the potential for stormwater credit trading in Cook County

    In 2017, The Metropolitan Planning Council, The Nature Conservancy, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District in Cook County collaborated on a feasibility study to consider stormwater credit trading as an alternative to creating on-site facilities for site development or redevelopment. As part of this study, the collaborators contracted a team of engineers and hydrologists at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), joined by U of I Department of Landscape Architecture staff, to assess the land area that has the potential for off-site stormwater management facilities in suburban Cook County

  • Record-Breaking Wet February in Illinois

  • Warmest May on record for Illinois

  • Cooler soil temperatures in mid-April

  • 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.

  • Fourth wettest February-March on record in Illinois

  • Soils across most of Illinois are warmer than normal

  • January in Illinois was cold and dry

    January in Illinois was colder and drier than normal without much snow, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois.

  • Soil temperatures across Illinois are rising

  • Central Illinois weather station is upgraded to track air pollution particles

    After 23 years of data collection on atmospheric conditions at the Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worked with scientists at the Prairie Research Institute to move the monitoring system to a new temperature-controlled building.

  • Illinois has warm, wet June

  • Upwind Lakes Can Influence the Intensity of Lake-Effect Snowstorms over Downwind Lakes

    Research shows that small lakes even hundreds of miles away can cause lake-effect snows to intensify around the Great Lakes, a phenomenon that may occur more often with climate change, according to David Kristovich, head of the Center for Atmospheric Science at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Warmer soils continue into July

  • PRI researchers gain new insights into how groundwater flows within the Illinois Basin

    A conceptual model of water movement in rock layers many feet underground, published by Prairie Research Institute scientists, shows for the first time that water is flowing steadily south through the thick sequence of rock layers that form the Illinois Basin.

  • Groundwater is plentiful for water supplies in future years, but surface water may be lacking, especially for Springfield, putting East-Central Illinois communities at risk for water shortages in a serious drought, according to George Roadcap, Hydrogeologist with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) in the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Study Identifies Cities Where Water Shortages May be a Future Issue in East-Central Illinois

    Groundwater is plentiful for water supplies in future years, but surface water may be lacking, especially for Springfield, putting East-Central Illinois communities at risk for water shortages in a serious drought, according to George Roadcap, Hydrogeologist with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) in the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Warm year in Illinois ends with a cold, dry December

    2017 was the sixth warmest year on record in Illinois with a statewide average temperature of 54.3 degrees, or 2 degrees above normal, in spite of the very cold ending to December.

  • State Climatologist Digs up Historical Weather Records for Illinois

    The oldest official weather records ever found in Illinois, dating back to 1820, reveal temperature data that showed remarkable accuracy given the technology of the day, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS).

  • September in Illinois: Cooler and Wetter than Normal

    September was the first cooler and wetter than normal month in 2012, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign

  • Report for the Urban Flooding Awareness Act

    The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has released a new report examining the prevalence and costs associated with urban flooding in Illinois, along with strategies and recommendations for minimizing damage to property from this flooding. The Illinois General Assembly called upon IDNR to prepare the report in collaboration with several state agencies.

  • ISWS Provides Resources for Irrigation Reporting

    Starting this growing season, farm irrigators who use high capacity wells or intakes are required to report their water use.  The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) has created a website to assist irrigators with this mandatory reporting process, according to Steve Wilson, ISWS groundwater hydrologist.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Changing methods for road salt application may ease environmental effects

    Salt crystals on roads and parking lots shimmer in the muted sunlight of an Illinois winter day. Once washed away into rivers and streams, salt contaminates the local environment, according to groundwater geochemist Walt Kelly with the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI).

  • 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.

  • ISWS is Pioneer in Tracking Tornadoes by Radar

    The Illinois State Water Survey played a key role in developing tornado-tracking technology used today to issue warnings of impending severe storms.  While testing radar equipment to measure rainfall rates in 1953, ISWS meteorologists were the first to photograph and document a hook echo, a classic sign of tornado development.

  • Illinois State Water Survey to Inventory Private Wells in McLean and Tazewell Counties – Well Owners Asked to Help

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is set to conduct an inventory of private wells in the rural areas surrounding Armington, Congerville, Danvers, Deer Creek, Goodfield, Hopedale, Mackinaw, McLean, Minier, Morton, and Stanford to determine water levels, pump settings, and well depths for all local wells.

  • Thunderstorms Produce Tsunami-like Waves in the Great Lakes

    Spring and summer storms that create thunder and lightning on land also cause tsunami-like waves on the Great Lakes, bringing water surges onshore and jeopardizing docked boats and beach lovers, according to David Kristovich, head of the Climate and Atmospheric Science section with the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

  • A Wet May, Spring, and Year to Date for Illinois

    The statewide precipitation for May was 6.87 inches, 2.25 inches above the long-term average, and the 12th wettest May on record, according to Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist at the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • Artificial Intelligence Scores High in Accuracy to Predict Water Contamination

    New, effective solutions are revealed when scientists use computer programs that simulate human intelligence to forecast drinking water contamination in agricultural areas, according to Momcilo Markus, hydrologist at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

  • Surveyors Collect Data on Home Elevations in North-Central Illinois for Flood Risk Project

    As part of an Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) project to determine the risk of flooding for individual homes and businesses in floodplains, licensed surveyors will visit properties to measure the height of structures from late June to July for two pilot areas in the City of Ottawa and the City of Moline.

  • 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.

  • Study Shows NE Illinois Should Have Enough Water to 2050

    Water supplies in NE Illinois should be adequate for the next 40 years, yet communities should still analyze their own situations and work with neighboring communities to avoid conflicts in the years ahead, according to Scott Meyer, hydrologist with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) at the University of Illinois.

  • Researchers Track Mercury in Fish from Illinois Streams

    Mercury concentrations in small fish from Illinois streams have decreased since the turn of the 20th century, but mercury pollution persists in the environment, even in rural areas far from mercury sources, according to findings from a study conducted by scientists from the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • Midwest Sets Record Cold Temperatures in July

    This was the coldest July on record for the nine-state Midwest region, based on preliminary temperature data. The average temperature for the region was 68.0 degrees, 4.7 degrees below normal. The previous record was 68.9 degrees in 1992, according to Mike Timlin, Regional Climatologist with the NOAA Midwestern Regional Climate Center (http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu).

  • Soil Moisture Levels Increased in Southern Illinois with the Weekend Rains

    Soil moisture levels in southern Illinois increased over the weekend as the region saw more than 3 inches of rain at some locations, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program Manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • ISWS groundwater expert to participate in community forum on irrigation

    George Roadcap, a scientist at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and an expert on groundwater and the Mahomet Aquifer, will participate in a community conversation on irrigation sponsored by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Champaign Public Library.

  • August and Summer Were Cool and Dry in Illinois

    The statewide average precipitation for August was 1.38 inches, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.  It was the third driest August on record and 2.22 inches below the 1981-2010 average.

  • 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.

  • Steve Wilson to serve on program advisory committee for National Environmental Health Association

    The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), a professional society for environmental health practitioners with thousands of members nationwide, has invited Illinois State Water Survey groundwater hydrologist Steve Wilson to participate in its Program Advisory Committee, which helps set policy and direction for NEHA programs.

  • Illinois in 2012: Second Warmest and Tenth Driest on Record

    The year 2012 will long be remembered for the drought and the exceptionally warm temperatures. While the data for December are still preliminary, 2012 was the second warmest and tenth driest year on record for Illinois, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois.

  • 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.

  • December 2010 in Illinois–Cold and Snowy

    The statewide average temperature for December was 24.0 degrees, which is 5.8 degrees below normal. This ranks as the 12th coldest December on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

  • December in Illinois: Warm with Little Snow

    The statewide average temperature for December 2011 in Illinois was 35.7 degrees, 5.9 degrees above average. This ranked as the ninth warmest December on record with statewide records going back to 1895, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.