CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — October 2012 was cooler and wetter than normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
The statewide average temperature was 52.2 degrees, 1.9 degrees below normal. Most of the state reached lows of 32 degrees, and much of central and northern Illinois was down to 28 degrees or colder, signaling the end of the growing season for most outdoor plants.
In Morris, according to the Weather Data Division of the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency, the average temperature during October was 52 degrees. The highest temperature recorded during the month was 79 degrees on Oct. 24, while the low was 30 on Halloween. The temperature sank to 32 or below four times during the month.
The statewide average precipitation was 3.9 inches, 0.7 inches above normal. The wettest area of the state was between Quincy and Champaign, where precipitation totals ranged from 4 to 7 inches.
Some of the driest areas were in southern Illinois, south of I-64, and in northern Illinois, north of I-80. Some of that area had precipitation totals of less than 3 inches.
Despite its proximity to Interstate 80, Morris measured precipitation well above that low-water mark. A total of 3.72 inches of rain was collected at EMA’s Weather Station #2, on property surrounding the Grundy County Administration Center in Morris.
The most precipitation in one day came in the 24 hours preceding 8 a.m. on Oct. 14, when .96 inches of rain fell. Rain fell on 14 days during the month.
The October rains brought the official Grundy County measure of liquid precipitation for the year to 22.36 inches.
The statewide average precipitation for January-October was 27.1 inches, nearly 5.8 inches below average. This made it the 15th driest January-October, virtually tied with 2005. The driest was in 1901, with 22.0 inches. The second driest was 1988, with 22.1 inches.
The statewide average temperature for January-October was 58.9 degrees, 3.4 degrees above normal. That made it the second warmest on record. The warmest was 1921, with 59.2 degrees.
“Soil moisture and stream flows in many areas have begun to recover from this summer’s drought thanks to the rains and cooler temperatures. We should see further improvements in November,” Angel said.
The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.