CHAMPAIGN — If you thought this spring was exceptionally warm, it wasn't your imagination.
The months of March, April and May marked the warmest spring on record for the state dating back to 1895, according to Illinois State Water Survey State Climatologist Jim Angel.
Angel said the average temperature in Illinois for the spring months (which the survey defines as March, April and May) was 59.1 degrees. The second warmest spring was 1977, when the state had an average of 57.3 degrees.
Angel said the state also completed the warmest January to May on record, with an average temperature of 48.8 degrees during those five months.
"What's interesting is that out of the top five warmest January-May periods, three have occurred in the past 15 years," Angel said in a written release.
According to preliminary data, Illinois' statewide average temperature during the month of May was 68.1 degrees, which Angel said marked the fifth warmest May on record and 5.7 degrees above normal temperatures.
Rainfall in Illinois was below normal both for the month of May and for the entire spring season, with the statewide average precipitation for May at 2.4 inches. That's 1.8 inches below normal precipitation for the state in May.
The spring months also brought Illinois its 18th driest spring on record. The average statewide precipitation in March, April and May was 7.71 inches, which is 3.65 inches below normal.
The driest spring on record for Illinois was in 1934, with 5.16 inches of precipitation.