Mercer County drenched once again

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The skies over Mercer County opened up on July 6. While 2.55 inches of rain was recorded officially in Aledo, WeatherUnderground's unofficial report of 3.4 inches of rain in the city is an amount nearly equal to the monthly average of 3.94 inches.

Heavy rain, which began before 5 p.m., continued into the evening. Large pools of water could be seen in fields and farm yards along Ill. 17, north of Aledo. Water covered a portion of the eastbound lane of the highway in Viola.

Rain has been a constant over most of Illinois recently. Aledo's 9.91 inches of rain last month made it the third wettest June on record, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel. He said 11.97 inches of rain in June 1993 and 10.63 inches in 1924 were the wettest two Junes here.

"If you look statewide, it was the wettest June on record," Angel said. "I would say it's probably the most uniformly wet I've seen it. It was pretty much across the board on the heavy side."

Not surprisingly, in light of the drenching the Mercer County area received July 6, Angel said it appears July will be another wet month.

"It looks like more of the same in July," he said. "We had a couple of nice days here that ended (July 6). We had a break and now we seem to be in the water period again."

That is not good news for farmers.

"Rain continues to plague northern and central Illinois," according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). "Statewide, precipitations averaged 1.92 inches (for the week ending June 28), 0.94 inches above normal. This June will be the wettest June on record, dating back to 1895. … There were 1.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 28."

The rainfall record for July in Aledo is 12.51 inches, set in 1982. 1993, a year when Mississippi River flooding plagued western Illinois, was the third wettest July on record, with 10.09 inches of rain. While pointing out there's still a long way to go before that record is threatened, Angel had some bad news for those who have forgotten what a sunny day is like.

 "I don't see this ending any time soon," Angel said.

Dark clouds hang over the Mercer County Courthouse during a brief break in the rain Monday evening.

Threatening clouds over the Mercer County Courthouse