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A weather expert says Illinois experienced the second warmest and fourth driest July on record.

State Climatologist Jim Angel says the average temperature statewide was nearly 82 degrees and 6.4 degrees above normal. Only July 1936 was warmer.

Average rainfall was 1.5 inches in July. That's 2.6 inches below normal. The state's driest July was in 1930 when average rainfall was 1.02 inches.

The above-average temperatures have continued in August, with some areas getting 1 to 2 inches or more of rainfall so far. Angel says Carbondale reported 4.95 inches, which is more than the 3.03 inches the city received in May, June, and July combined.

The climatologist says Illinois has "a long way to go" to recover the soil moisture, stream flows, lake levels and groundwater it has lost.

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