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Record-breaking rain falls on IllinoisRecord-breaking rain falls on Illinois

Rainfall amounts reached record levels in August, while hot and humid nights plagued most of the state.

September 4, 2016

2 Min Read

Summer ends on a soggy and unusually humid note. The statewide average rainfall for August was 6.89 inches, just beating the 6.86-inch record set in 1977, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

The August average rainfall was 3.30 inches above normal and the highest rainfall total was in Sterling, IL with 14.01 inches.

A damp July with a very wet August combined equals the wettest July-August on record. The rainfall total of July-August was 13.74 inches, which is 6.07 inches above normal. It beat the old record for July-August of 12.83 inches, set back in 1915.


The highest two-month rainfall total was in Downers Grove, IL with 22.93 inches of rain.

The two-month average rainfall was above normal for almost the entire state, except for small portions of Lake and McHenry counties. Southern Illinois, south of Chicago, and northeast of St. Louis received 9 to 12 inches above normal.  Some parts of southern Illinois experienced 12 to 15 inches above normal.

The statewide average temperature for August was 75.9 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal. That is tied with 1943 as the 15th warmest August on record. The average high temperatures were close to normal.

In fact, most of Illinois never exceeded the low to mid-90s in August. However, high humidity levels did not allow temperatures to cool off at night. As a result, nighttime temperatures were 3 to 5 degrees above normal.

The dewpoint temperature is the temperature you would have to cool the air for condensation or dew to form. The average dewpoint temperature for August ranged from the low to mid-70s in southern Illinois and the mid-60s to low 70s in much of the rest of the state. That is about 1 to 3 degrees above normal; thus it was more humid than usual in August. 

Source: The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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