Both August and Summer Were Warmer, Wetter Than Normal for Illinois

August: 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 and the 12th wettest August on record.

The warmest daily high temperature was 97 degrees reported at Chicago Botanical Gardens (8/5), Chicago O’Hare (8/4), Jerseyville (8/7), and Pittsfield (8/29).  The coolest reading was 42 degrees reported at Rochelle (8.22).

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Battle of the Winter Forecasts

What the Almanacs Say

Recently, both the Farmer’s and Old Farmer’s Almanacs released their winter forecasts (below) and what they say for Illinois is quite different.  The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “Biting Cold, Snowy” winter while the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “Warm, wet” winter for Illinois.

The Farmer’s Almanac states that it “bases its amazingly-accurate long-range forecast on a mathematical and astronomical formula developed in 1818”.   We have learned quite a bit about the weather since then.  And the phrase of “biting cold, snowy” can describe a typical morning in January and February.

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25th Anniversary of the Great Flood of 1993

Introduction

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Source: https://water.usgs.gov/nwsum/WSP2425/flood.html

The Great Flood of 1993 resulted in $36.3 billion dollars in losses and 48 deaths.  It was considered the 8th worst natural disaster in US history in terms of dollars.  The top six were hurricanes, followed by the 1988 drought/heat wave.  Large regions of the Missouri and Upper Mississippi River basins were impacted by heavy rains from June through August of 1993. The rains were widespread with the largest totals concentrated in Iowa.

I will share some climatic factors of the event.  However, the most important thing to remember is that this was a large, slow-moving human disaster.  I had friends and family in the affected area and it was indeed tough times.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch recently did a story on the 25th Anniversary, showing the extent of the disaster.

In the end, I will try to answer the question – can it happen again?

Climate Factors

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July Slightly Cooler, Drier than Normal

Temperatures: Based on preliminary data, the statewide average temperature was 75.1 degrees, just 0.3 degrees below normal.  Temperatures reached into the upper 90s at several locations in the first half of the month.  One of the warmest readings was 99 degrees at Flora on July 5. A few stations dropped down into the upper 40s at night.  Four locations reported a low of 48 degrees: Mt. Carroll on July 7, Stockton on July 13, Shabbona on July 28, and Avon on July 31.

Here are the day to day temperature departures from normal for Champaign IL and reflect the changes experienced across much of the state.  The hot weather of May and June continued in the first week of July but quickly cooled by July 6.  This was followed by alternating periods of cooler and warmer weather until July 18 when temperatures remained at or below normal. Continue reading