It had been awhile since Champaign County had seen significant rainfall before Monday’s short downpour. More than three weeks had passed since portions of Champaign County had a notable rain event on July 6th. To put the dry month into perspective, we caught up with Brian Kerschner of the State Climatologist’s office.
This year was the wettest in Illinois history from January to June. While rain fell in the rest of the state, it didn’t always accumulate in Champaign-Urbana, which had only its 14th wettest January-June period on record according to Kerschner.
At 3.17 inches before Thursday’s rainfall, which Kerschner estimates at around .25 inches, this July’s precipitation was set to fall 1.53 inches short of the Champaign-Urbana average. The month of June fell 1.52 inches below average.
July’s average temperature — 2.9 degrees hotter than usual. The heat wave, evaporation rates, and dry weather have combined for abnormally dry conditions for plants, Kerschner said, even when taking into account the heavy rain during the spring.