August Weather Trivia for Illinois

August 1, 2005

Drought conditions continued to spread across the northwest half of Illinois during the month. Locations west of I-55 were considered to be in extreme drought conditions, with rainfall amounts several inches below normal. The drought was most significant across the Illinois River valley.

August 2, 1981
Thunderstorms moving across central Illinois dumped 4.40 inches of rain at Capital Airport in Springfield. Just 6 days earlier, on July 27th, another 4.33 inches of rain was recorded from strong thunderstorms.

August 2, 2001
Thunderstorms developed over northern Cook County between 6 and 7 am, slowly moved southeast, and exited the southern part of the county by 11 am.  Rain was falling at the rate of 3 to 4 inches per hour at some locations.  The Edens Expressway at Pratt had 6 to 8 feet of water covering the interstate, submerging 3 cars.  The Dan Ryan Expressway was closed and flooded between 83rd and 87th.  The Eisenhower at the Kennedy had 3 to 4 feet of water covering the interstates.  228 vehicles were reported to have been towed from flooded roads or viaducts.  Many other smaller intersections and viaducts across the city of Chicago, and parts of Cook County, were flooded and impassible.  No injuries were reported from the storm.  Totals included 4.78 inches in the Loop, 3.95 inches at Skokie and Wilmette, 3.50 inches at Wrigleyville, 3.41 inches at Willow Springs, and 3.04 inches at Burr Ridge. A 93 mile tunnel, used to hold rain water during periods of heavy rain, filled in just over an hour, holding approximately 1.6 billion gallons of water.  The Chicago Park District opened locks at Wilmette and downtown Chicago, to allow rain water to flow directly into Lake Michigan.

August 3, 1991
A tornado touched down in Olney, in Richland County. It tore off the roofs of two apartment buildings as well as the local Wal-Mart store. Strong winds with the associated thunderstorm also blew down trees in the area.

August 4, 1968
Thunderstorms in east central Illinois produced 5.40 inches of rain at Danville. This edged out a 5.08 inch rainstorm in 1949 to establish a 24-hour rainfall record for the city.

August 4, 2008
A derecho (well-organized, long-lasting, bowing line of severe thunderstorms) rolled across the northern portion of the state, producing a widespread swath of 50 to 70 mph winds, with localized gusts as high as 90 mph.  Trees, limbs, and power lines were knocked down, and tornadoes were reported in Bloomindale, Bolingbrook, and Orland Park.  The storms were also accompanied by thousands of lightning strikes.  Wrigley Field was evacuated during a Cubs game as the storms approached.

August 5, 1875
Several tornadoes moved across northern and central Illinois. One of the stronger tornadoes touched down in Warren County, then passed just to the north of Galesburg (Knox County). 25 homes were destroyed, with 2 people killed and 15 injured. Another in a series of tornadoes touched down near Knoxville and moved east into northern Peoria County.   14 people were hurt and 20 farms destroyed by this family of tornadoes, described by eyewitnesses as looking like a "monstrous haystack".

August 6, 1977
Severe thunderstorms produced nearly 20 tornadoes in Sangamon and Christian Counties. Many of these only affected open fields.  However, one tornado did cause extensive damage near and east of Chatham. One tornado just south of Lake Springfield was unusual in that it had a clockwise rotation, in contrast to the usual counter-clockwise rotation found in tornadoes. The thunderstorms that produced these tornadoes caused a large swath of destruction from strong winds extending from southwestern Morgan County east to far southwestern Macon County.

August 7, 1936
Among the many heat-related records established during the summer of 1936 was the number of days with highs 90 degrees or above.  Springfield reported 69 such days during the year, 57 of which occurred between June and August.  At Peoria, the total for the year was 64, a few days shy of the record of 68 degrees set in 1887.

August 8, 1934
A 3-day heat wave with highs of 100 degrees or higher was in progress across central Illinois. High temperatures of 111 degrees at Rushville and 108 degrees at Springfield set August records for those locations.

August 9, 1934
Springfield tied its August record high temperature of 108 degrees, set the previous day. August record highs of 106 degrees were also recorded at Decatur and Lincoln.

August 9, 2006
Widespread flooding and flash flooding occurred across much of Clay County, where rainfall amounts in excess of 7 inches were reported. The worst flooding was reported in Louisville and Flora, where numerous roads, businesses and homes were flooded. Many roads had to be closed due to high water, and several cars on these roads stalled.

August 10, 1974
Severe thunderstorms triggered many tornadoes across central Illinois; 13 touchdowns were reported in Macon County alone, but only minor damage was reported. Tornadoes also touched down near Litchfield, Mattoon, and Effingham.

August 11, 1976
A tornado hit the north part of Cuba, in Fulton County, destroying two trailers and tearing the roof from a house.  One person was injured.

August 12, 1993
Thunderstorms moving across east central Illinois produced 5.32 inches of rain in Champaign on this date. This is the most rain to ever fall in a single day in Champaign, since records began in 1889. This was over half of the monthly total of 10.02 inches, which set an August record.

August 12, 1999
Severe thunderstorms developed in west central Illinois during the early evening, and moved to the Indiana border during the next several hours.  Winds gusting over 80 mph caused over $50 million in crop damage to Schuyler, Mason, Menard, Logan, Cass, Morgan and Scott Counties.  Miles of power lines were blown down in Cass County, and numerous trees were damaged through the area.  There was also damage to property, caused by falling trees and tree limbs.

August 13, 1987
Major flash flooding occurred in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Much of the flooding was in the western and northern suburbs. Thunderstorms repeatedly moved across the area, dumping heavy rain. O'Hare Airport reported 9.35 inches of rain in an 18 hour period. The airport was only accessible by air, as flooding blocked all surface approaches. However, thousands of people did manage to leave the airport by walking down the Kennedy Expressway. Flooding from the rain continued until the 19th, with damages around $220 million.

August 14, 1992
Parts of central Illinois were in the midst of a record dry month. Peoria only reported 0.25 inch of rain during the month, marking its driest August on record. Other records were established at Canton, with 0.55 inch, and Galesburg with 0.88 inch. Springfield's total of 0.46 inch was its third driest August on record.

August 15, 1981
Thunderstorms moving across central Illinois produced just under an inch of rain in Springfield. By the end of the month, a total of 8.37 inches of rain fell in the Capital City, setting an August record. Over half of this fell on August 2nd, with nearly 4-1/2 inches.

August 16, 1987
Severe thunderstorms rumbled across the northern half of the state, producing damaging winds, large hail, and 1 to 5 inches of rain. Winds gusted to 75 mph in Quincy and from 60 to 80 mph in an area from Moline to Galesburg. A wind gust of 80 mph at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield toppled two tents, injuring 58 people. Total damage was around $12 million, primarily due to rains which accentuated flooding in the Chicago area.

August 17, 1948
A strong tornado moved across Warren and Mercer Counties, destroying 3 barns and 2 homes.  Losses from the accompanying hailstorm were in the millions of dollars.

August 17, 1988
High temperatures of 100 to 105 degrees across central Illinois set records for the date in many cities. In addition, Champaign's high of 102 degrees was the warmest August temperature on record.

August 18, 1999
Hail up to baseball-size fell in Schuyler County, especially to the north and west of Rushville.  Hundreds of cars were damaged by the hail.  Numerous houses sustained roof damage, and thousands of acres of corn and soybeans were damaged.   Crop damage was estimated around $4 million, and property damage over $750,000.

August 18, 2002
Severe thunderstorms in central Illinois produced hail up to 3.75 inches in diameter northwest of Lincoln in San Jose, as well as a brief tornado touchdown 5 miles north of Mason City.  Scattered wind damage from these storms occurred as far east as the Indiana border.  Six people were injured in Atwood by flying debris.

August 19, 1904
A tornado touched down near St. Louis, then moved into Illinois. The tornado was described by eyewitnesses as moving "like a revolving pillar."  Several factories at Venice, Illinois, were destroyed, and a ferry boat on the Mississippi River was narrowly missed. Three people were killed in St. Louis.

August 20, 1943
A record dry month was in progress in parts of central Illinois.  Springfield reported a mere 0.10 inch of rain during the month, which still stands as the driest August on record. Decatur's 0.22 inch of rain during the month also set an August record.

August 21, 1977
The first killer tornado in Illinois during the month of August took the lives of 6 vacationers at Lake Mattoon. The tornado first touched down in eastern Shelby County near Windsor, moved east across Coles County and into Cumberland County, lifting near Greenup. The tornado was embedded in heavy rain, making visual identification difficult.

August 21, 1987
Severe thunderstorms affected a seven county area from Peoria northwest to Moline before sunrise. The storms produced 90 mph winds and golfball-size hail in parts of the Quad Cities. Damage was reported to 2,000 cars and hundreds of windows. $4 million damage occurred to crops in the area.

August 22, 1862
During August of 1862, Peoria reported a total of 9.04 inches of rain. Even now, over 140 years later, this still stands as a record for the month.

August 23, 1939
A long dry spell began in central Illinois. This was the first of 37 consecutive days where no measurable rain fell in Springfield, a record dry spell for the city.

August 23, 2001
Scattered strong thunderstorms developed during the evening hours of the 22nd in west central Illinois, continuing into the early morning hours of the 23rd.  Excessive rain fell during this period, and produced widespread urban and street flooding.  Cooperative observer rainfall observations ranged from 6.30 to 8.00 inches in Hancock County from this event.  In Schuyler County, a total of 8.67 inches of rain fell in Brooklyn.  On the LaMoine River, levels rose up to 16 feet in only 4 to 6 hours.

August 24, 1982
Five tornadoes touched down south and east of Bloomington. The strongest one traveled from Merna to Cooksville, destroying 5 homes and damaging 125 others. Total damages were around $2.4 million. The storms were unusual in the fact that four had unusual changes in directions of movement.

August 25, 1947
Record heat led to August record average temperatures being recorded at Springfield, with 86.2 degrees; Decatur, with 82.6 degrees; Peoria, with 82 degrees; and Champaign, with 80.9 degrees. These surpassed records that were previously set during the torrid summer of 1936.

August 26, 1910
Peoria registered a low temperature of 41 degrees. This established a record for the month of August, although it has been tied twice since then. Daily low temperatures were established at Lincoln, with 37 degrees; Decatur, 44 degrees; and Champaign, 46 degrees.

August 27, 1936
The summer of 1936 set many heat-related records across central Illinois, including the number of days with highs of 100 degrees or higher. During that torrid summer, Springfield had 27 days with highs 100 or above, and Peoria recorded 23 days.

August 28, 1990
A large, killer tornado spun a path of destruction across Kendall and Will Counties in northeast Illinois. This F5 tornado was on the ground for over 16 miles, touching down first near Oswego and lifting 20 minutes later in Joliet. The worst damage occurred in the towns of Plainfield and Crest Hill. 29 people were killed, and another 350 were injured. Total damage was estimated around $165 million. Before the tornado developed, the severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts in the 80-100 mph range.

August 29, 1955
A tornado made intermittent contact along a 15 mile path, beginning 13 miles southwest of Jacksonville and ending in town.  Homes in the northwest corner of Jacksonville lost their roofs.  Two people were injured.

August 29, 1990
A severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts in the 85-90 mph range in Bloomington. Heavy damage occurred to a concrete building, with other damage to metal buildings, roofs, and trees throughout McLean County.

August 30, 1893
A low temperature of 37 degrees in Champaign set an August record low, which still stands. Weather records in Champaign began in 1889.

August 30, 2001
Thunderstorms developed over northern Illinois during the evening hours.  A series of thunderstorms moved across northern Cook County, dumping torrential amounts of rainfall.  O'Hare Airport received 4.31 inches of rain, most of which fell between 9 pm and 11 pm.  This rainfall brought the total for the month to 12.25 inches, making this the second wettest month on record for Chicago.

August 31, 1936
In the meteorological community, summer is considered to be the months of June, July, and August. The summer of 1936 finished with an average temperature of 81.0 degrees in Springfield, the warmest summer on record. During the month of August alone, 11 days had temperatures which still serve as record highs for the city. August 1936 saw an average high temperature of 94.1 degrees.

August 31, 1947
August 1947 was a hot month in central Illinois. Springfield's average high temperature during the month was a scorching 94.9 degrees.


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