Illinois and the majority of the U.S. saw a very hot summer with not much rain and that's what reflected in the summary of the year. Places like Chicago and Rockford saw their warmest years on record while Springfield and Peoria saw the second warmest.
The state finished with an average precipitation of 30.37", 9.83" below normal. This makes 2012 the 10th driest year on record. Most of this was because of the drought that was very strong from May to July. The beginning of September had a lot of rain from the reminants of Hurricane Isaac that helped break the drought. The record driest year was 1901 at 26.34"
The only year that was warmer than 2012 was 1921 at 55.6 degrees. 2012 missed that mark by 0.1" at 55.5 degrees. The year got off to a very warm start with temperatures much warmer than normal from January through July.
2012 would finish as the warmest year on record for the United States. The average temperature was 55.3, which is 3.2 degrees above the average and 1 degree above the previous record set in 1998.
Although we had a terrible drought in 2012, we only had the 15th driest year on record. At one point, the drought gripped 61% of the nation. There was also many wildfires in the West, burning 9.2 million acres.
2012 would also go down as the second most extreme year on record, second only to 1998. This is calculated by looking at numbers of daily temperature records for temperatures and precipitation as well as tropical cyclone landfalls. 2012 had 11 disasters that have reached $1 billion in losses. This includes Sandy and Isaac.
2012 went down as the 10th warmest year on record since records started in 1880, at 1.03 degrees F above average. That marks the 36th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last colder than normal year was 1976.
Below is a recap of months from 2012 that we have. We also have a recap of the summer here.