Cooler than average daytime highs (first map, blue shaded areas) and warmer than average night-time lows (second map) this summer were common across much of the Midwest, according to data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.
It is typical in Illinois for this to happen in summer after a wet spring. We marched through summer with above-average soil moisture, streamflows, and lake levels. As a result, more of the sun’s energy went into evaporating this water instead of heating up the land surface and the atmosphere. The end results were higher humidity levels and lower high temperatures.
At night, the higher humidity levels kept temperatures from dropping as much. The old forecasting rule of thumb was to consider the dew-point temperature as the floor to night-time temperatures. Therefore, the higher dew-point temperatures led to higher night-time temperatures.*
Finally, all the extra humidity in the atmosphere turned into more rainfall for thunderstorms, maintaining the wetter conditions through at least July.
August was cool across the state and dry in most places in Illinois, capping off a summer that was cool and wet.
The statewide average precipitation for August in Illinois was 2.95 inches, 0.64 inches below average. However, this was followed by a very wet June with 9.44 inches, and a wet July with 4.84 inches. As a result, the summer precipitation total was 17.23 inches. That was 5.36 inches above average and the 6th wettest summer on record.
Here are the top ten wettest summer in Illinois. It was wetter than last summer and 2010, but nearly an inch away from the incredible summer of 1993.
If you look at the start to September, temperatures have run 3 degrees above average. And yesterday and today have been the hottest yet with temperatures the 80s and 90s across much of state. But that is about to change as a cold front pushes through later today. This weekend and next week will be cooler with highs in the 70s and low 80s. I am looking forward to that.
Average daily highs in September in Illinois range from the low to mid 70s in northern Illinois to the low 80s in southern Illinois (map below, click to enlarge).
Highlights: The 12th wettest August in Illinois finishes out the 10th wettest summer on record. While August was slightly warmer than average, the summer was cooler than average. Here are the statistics.
The statewide average precipitation for August was 5.18 inches, 1.59 inches above average and the 12th wettest on record. The wettest area of the state was Cook County. The largest monthly total was from a CoCoRaHS site (IL-CK-100) in Cicero with 10.20 inches of precipitation.
This first map shows several areas across the state with amounts of 7 to 10 inches (oranges and reds), according to radar estimates. There were a few areas in the northwest and east-central Illinois with only 2 to 3 inches. The second map shows the departures from average, showing the many areas with 2 to 8 inches above average for the month.