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From one weather extreme to another

PRINCETON — Following the 2012 drought season, the 2013 year looks to be anything but dry.

According to Illinois State Climatologist James Angel, the statewide average precipitation for 2012 was 30.37 inches, which was 9.83 inches below normal and the 10th driest year on record in Illinois. So far this year, all but March have experienced above average precipitation numbers for the first six months of 2013, Angel said.

In fact, April was recorded as the fourth wettest April on record, and May was recorded as the 12th wettest May, Angel said. Though this past June was not record-breaking, the month did receive rainfall which was above the state average.

Reviewing statewide statistics, Angel said the average precipitation statewide for June 2013 was 5.2 inches, which is nearly one inch above the 1981, 2010 average. It’s interesting to note that June’s average precipitation was more than double the June 2012 total of 1.8 inches, which was a drought season, Angel said.

In Bureau County, the Princeton Water Treatment Plant recorded a total of 2.88 inches of precipitation in June 2013, compared to a total of 1.51 inches in June 2012 and a total of 5.39 inches of precipitation in June 2011.

The two wettest areas in Illinois this past June were in northern Illinois and through a southern area of the state just south of Interstate 70, Angel said. Both regions had rainfall totals in excess of 8 inches and even 10 or more inches in some locations.

“Most of the remainder of the state had close to average precipitation for June with 3 to 6 inches,” Angel said.

Looking at the first six months of 2013, Angel said several sites around the state have actually received more precipitation during the first six months of 2013 than they did in all 12 months of 2012. Among those sites was the Quad Cities area, which received a total of 27.25 inches of precipitation in 2012, compared to 29.29 inches of precipitation in the first six months of 2012, he said.

In an interview with the Bureau County Republican, News Channel 8 meteorologist James Zahara said the Quad Cities area is experiencing very different weather conditions than one year ago.

“What a difference a year makes. Last June (2012), the worst drought in decades was becoming a reality,” Zahara said. “This growing season has been excessive in the form of rain and flooding rains.”

As far as the weather for the next few days, Zahara said the Quad Cities areas will have high temperatures around 90 degrees with a chance of thunderstorms Sunday through Thursday.

“Fortunately, the Quad Cities outlook shows that precipitation should remain normal through the August. Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” Zahara said.

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