2012 was warmer and drier than normal across central and southeast Illinois. Some of the highlights included the warmest March on record, and a summer which was one of the hottest in recent memory. Drought conditions rapidly developed during the late spring and summer, and severely impacted area crops and lawns.
While much of the area saw some easing of the drought during September, areas northwest of the Illinois River saw drought conditions persist the remainder of the year.
Severe weather occurrences were lower than normal due to the dry conditions, with 14 tornadoes observed this year; the normal total for the area is 16. Nine of the 14 tornadoes occurred on August 31 and September 1, as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac passed through the area.
A preliminary look back at 2012