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.

Dr. Trent Ford – Illinois State Climatologist

 (217) 244-1330

Dr. Trent Ford has been the Illinois State Climatologist since 2019. He and his team provide information online, through traditional and social media, and by speaking to interested groups across the state. In addition to his role in education and climate outreach, Ford also conducts research on the climate system and extreme climate events, like drought and heat waves; monitors current conditions; and studies climate change.

A native of Roanoke, Illinois, Ford earned a bachelors in geography from Illinois State University before completing his masters and PhD at Texas A&M University. Before joining the Illinois State Water Survey, Ford was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Justyna Luberda – Student Research Intern

Justyna Luberda is an undergraduate student majoring in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Growing up in Franklin Park, Illinois developed her love for the midwest and its climate.