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Article updated: 1/3/2013 9:38 AM

2012 was 2nd warmest, 10th driest year in Illinois history

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By Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN -- The state climatologist says 2012 was Illinois' second warmest and 10th driest year on record.

Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says the average temperature statewide in 2012 was 55.5 degrees. That's 3.3 degrees above normal. 1921 holds the record as the warmest year at 55.6 degrees.

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Illinois averaged just more than 30 inches of rainfall in 2012 -- about 10 inches below normal. The Illinois State Water Survey says that makes last year the 10th driest since record keeping began in 1895.

Angel says the lack of rain and the heat were brutal on Illinois crops. He says soil moisture for farming will recover before the ground water and the levels of lakes, rivers and streams recover.

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