July 2002: Hot and Dry in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release August 2, 2002
July 2002: Hot and Dry in Illinois

Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220, jimangel@illinois.edu
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540, eva@sws.uiuc.edu
“With statewide rainfall of 2.82 inches—74 percent of average—and temperatures averaging 78.1°F—2.4°F above normal—July 2002 is the 30th driest and 19th warmest July in Illinois since 1895, and the 12th warmest in Chicago since 1872. Double-digit days of temperatures above 90 were quite common with 15–20 days (south), 10–20 days (central), and 10–15 days (north),” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Chicago especially struggled with hot weather in July due to the urban heat island. Within the urban area, Midway Airport reported 22 days of 90+ temperatures while O'Hare Airport to the west only reported 12 such days. Twenty-six of the 30 heat-related deaths in Cook County this summer were reported during July, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Grand Tower reported the warmest temperature for July, 103°F on July 10, and McHenry reported the coldest temperature, 47°F on July 14.

Figure.  July 2002 Precipitation (inches) 
				This graphic shows that precipitation varied from 0 to 6 inches across the state of Illinois 
				area during June.
July 2002 Precipitation (inches)
(Click to Enlarge Image)

The largest one-day total rainfall was at Piper City, 4.32 inches on July 29. Aledo reported the largest monthly total rainfall, 8.30 inches.

“While parts of Illinois received heavy rains in July, these rains were not widespread. Rainfall that occurred was confined largely to western Illinois between the Wisconsin border and Quincy and extending eastward in a narrow band across central Illinois (see figure). Substantial portions of northern and southern Illinois had less than 2 inches rather than the nearly 4 inches they normally receive in July. As a result, corn and soybeans in areas that received rain are doing much better than those in areas that received little or no rain,” says Angel.

“Remember to drink lots of fluids and try to keep cool, but don’t expect relief any time soon,” cautions Angel. National Weather Service forecasts are calling for another two weeks of warm, dry conditions.  

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