CHAMPAIGN – The official numbers will be released this week, but it appears 2019 will be one of the top three wettest calendar years for Illinois.
“It may be the wettest on record in Northern Illinois,” explained State Climatologist Trent Ford in his weekly weather summary issued late last week.
We just closed out a relatively dry month of December in an otherwise very wet year, says Ford. The majority of Illinois remains in precipitation deficits of 1-2 inches over the last 30 days. This prolonged dry spell has caused soil moisture and streams to descend to near or slightly below normal conditions.
“Considering the year we just ended and current spring outlooks, the temporary dryness is likely a welcome sight for most,” added Ford.
Over 100 daily maximum temperature records were broken across the state between Dec. 20 and 31. This includes a weather station in Kane County which bested its previous Christmas Day record high temperature by 10 degrees.
The short-term National Weather Service outlook shows elevated chances of warmer weather through the middle of January and elevated chances of above-normal precipitation. Longer term, there are increased odds of wetter than normal conditions from February through May while temperature outlooks are more mixed.