The rain has finally moved into Illinois this morning. According to the National Weather Service, widespread heavy rain is expected to continue in Illinois over the next 3 days. Here is the forecast map for Tuesday morning showing a large storm moving across the central US. Rain is likely from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to the western Great Lakes. Snow is likely in the Plains states (areas in blue). However, we will likely be too warm in Illinois to see snowfall.
Between 1 to 3 inches of rain (shades of green and yellow in the map below) has fallen over much of southern and central Illinois in the last 14 days through this morning. Meanwhile, areas generally to the north of Interstate 80 have less than an inch of rain (shades of blue).
Even before today’s rain, the statewide average rainfall for June in Illinois is 7.11 inches. That makes it the 5th wettest June on record. And June is not over. Here are the top ten wettest June totals on record and where we stand:
- 1902 with 8.27 inches
- 2010 with 7.71 inches
- 1998 with 7.64 inches
- 2000 with 7.34 inches
- 2015 with 7.11 inches (as of 6/21/2015)
- 1928 with 6.93 inches
- 1993 with 6.85 inches
- 1924 with 6.80 inches
- 2014 with 6.77 inches
- 2011 with 6.69 inches
Notice anything unusual about that list? Five out of the 10 wettest June totals have occurred since 2000. Our statewide records go back to 1895.
Due to the heavy rains of June, we first saw flooding on the smaller rivers and streams in Illinois. Now the larger rivers are responding to the wet conditions. The NWS can keep you posted on the latest flooding issues at www.weather.gov
Here is the Qualitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) for the next 7 days, according to the National Weather Service. This shows the potential amounts of rainfall, your mileage may vary. The area in shades of violet and purple are 1.5 to 2.5 inches. Shades of blue are 1 to 1.5 inches. Most of this is expected to fall in the next 3 days.
Here is how much rain has fallen so far in May across the Midwest.
It is no surprise that June has turned into a wetter-than-average month. The statewide precipitation in Illinois is sitting at 6.1 inches, 1.9 inches above average. Several locations in central and northern Illinois have reported rainfall totals in the 8 to 10 inch range. Two of the highest so far are Dixon (IL-LE-17) with 10.15 inches and Galena (IL-JD-2) with 10.12 inches. We will have the final statistics on June next week.
As the map below shows, areas in green and blue are in the 5 to 12 inch range, and are common across central and northern Illinois, as well as northern Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, southern Wisconsin, and parts of Indiana.
Of course, lots of rain means lots of runoff and flooding. Most of the rivers and streams in Illinois and the Midwest are having relatively high flows, shown by this USGS map. The green dots show flow in the normal range, blue dots indicate above normal flow, and black dots are record flows for this date.
Finally, the Chicago area has not only struggled with heavy rainfall events that have caused flooding in June, but they have had an unusually high number of days with fog. Here is the web page from the Chicago NWS office explaining what is going on with this fog.
Much needed rain arrived in Illinois over the last few days. As the map below shows, amounts of 0.50 inches or higher occurred across Illinois for the 7-day period ending November 23. And typical to these situations, the area in most need of rain misses out. In this case, that would be far southern Illinois. There is a second opportunity for rain in the next few days.