Plenty of rainy days in May, but less precipitation than usual
CHAMPAIGN — It rained on 16 of 31 days in Champaign-Urbana last month, but May's rainfall total still was more than an inch below average.
The Illinois State Water Survey reported 3.74 inches of rain at its weather station in south Champaign in May, about 1.15 inches below the monthly normal of 4.89 inches.
Champaign-Urbana was a dry island in downstate Illinois last month. Many other communities reported record or near-record amounts of rain.
Galesburg recorded 11.99 inches of rain in May, a record for the month. Springfield and Peoria had their second-wettest Mays ever with 10.9 and 10.41 inches, respectively. Decatur had 6.63 inches for the month, well above its normal of 4.29 inches. Danville reported 4.39 inches.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln reported that there were heavy rains at the beginning and end of the month which affected western Illinois more than East Central Illinois.
On May 2 and 3, up to 4 inches of rain fell on west central Illinois, although Champaign-Urbana got only 0.13 of an inch. And in a seven-day period encompassing the Memorial Day weekend through the end of May, several areas received 4 to 7 inches of rain while the Champaign-Urbana area got just 1.67 inches.
Severe weather began to increase late in the month as well, said the weather service. On Memorial Day, strong storms developed in west central Illinois, and became severe as they pushed through the Springfield area. Winds of 60 to 65 mph occurred in parts of Springfield and Rochester, causing damage to trees and power lines, with extensive tree damage occurring at the Henson Robinson Zoo along Lake Springfield. Damage from these storms also affected Decatur and Forsyth. More widespread severe weather occurred on May 30 and 31, with the most extensive damage in Decatur and Argenta.
Temperatures for the month — at least in Champaign-Urbana — averaged 2 degrees above normal. The average temperature for the month was 64.5 degrees; normal is 62.5 degrees.
The highest temperature last month in Champaign-Urbana was 88 degrees on May 19; the coolest was 36 degrees on both the 12th and 13th.