July in Illinois: cool, dry

By on August 10, 2013

CHAMPAIGN, ILL.—The statewide average temperature for July in Illinois was 73.3 degrees, 2 degrees below the 1981-2010 average. It currently ranks as the 19th coolest July on record, dating back to 1895, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

In comparison, last year’s average temperature in July was 81.8 degrees. Illinois was experiencing a heat wave and drought at that time.

The statewide average precipitation for this July was 2.74 inches, 1.31 inches below the 1981-2010 average. It currently ranks as the 29th driest July on record.

Despite the dry July, the statewide total precipitation for 2013 stands at 31.4 inches at the end of July and 7.61 inches above the 1981-2010 average. It is the second wettest January-July. The wettest January-July was set just a few years ago: 2008, with 32.52 inches.

The rainfall in July was unevenly distributed across the state. Much of central and northern Illinois were 1 to 3 inches below average, while southern Illinois was several inches above average.

Mt. Vernon reported the highest monthly total precipitation in the state with 9.42 inches, followed closely by Olney with 9.15 inches. On the dry side, Joliet, Ill., reported one of the lowest monthly totals with .63 inches along with .72 inches in Pontiac, Ill., and .77 inches in Kankakee, Ill.

The wet spring and cool July have both helped to reduce the impacts of the dry weather so far in July but conditions will be watched closely in August.