The Illinois state climatologist is calling 2012 the second-warmest and 10th driest year on record for Illinois.
Although data for December is still preliminary, 2012 is shaping up to be about 3.3 degrees above normal with an average statewide temperature of 55.5 degrees. The warmest year on record was 1921 with an average temperature of 55.6 degrees, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois.
Statewide, precipitation was 9.8 inches below normal with just 30.4 inches of moisture falling on the state all year. Much of the shortfall was the result of significantly below-normal precipitation May through July and in November.
"Winter is our driest time of year in Illinois," Angel said. "The normal precipitation for January and February is just over two inches for each month. Even March is not much wetter at three inches. That adds up to seven inches for those three months combined. It would take more than double of that amount to erase the deficits accumulated in 2012."
December was mild with a statewide average of 35.8 degrees, which is 5.9 degrees above normal making it the 13th warmest December on record.