Here are the monthly temperature and precipitation departures for the state of Illinois since 2011. Departures are from the long-term average (1981-2010). A few of the outstanding features were:
- outstanding warming from July 2011 to July 2012;
- a wet start to 2011 and 2013;
- drought in 2012, starting in January 2012 and staying in parts of Illinois through at least the end of the year.
Before becoming too complacent about growing conditions this summer, we should remember that we started out with wet conditions in 2011 before a flash drought arrived in July and August. The combination of hot, dry conditions – especially in central Illinois – led to crop losses by the end of August of that year.