Trent FordHydroclimatologist Dr. Trent Ford is the current Illinois State Climatologist. A native of Roanoke, Illinois, Ford previously was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. There in addition to teaching courses on weather, climate, and society and hazardous weather, he received funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to research heat wave predictability and to develop ways to use soil moisture data to improve drought monitoring. He earned a bachelor’s in geography from Illinois State University before completing his master’s and PhD at Texas A&M University.

The Illinois State Climatologist provides weather and climate data, maps, and information for Illinois farmers, government agencies and policymakers, and all citizens. The State Climatologist also  conducts research on past climate events, monitors current conditions, and studies possible future climate change and acts as the state’s authoritative spokesperson on climate science. By state statute, this position is based at the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. Previous Illinois State Climatologists were Dr. Jim Angel (1996–2018), Wayne Wendland (1981–1996), and Stan Changnon (1972–1980).

Contact the State Climatologist’s office via email at statecli@isws.illinois.edu or via phone at  (217) 244-1330.