Discover the Rainiest Place in Illinois

Written by Chanel Coetzee
Updated: May 26, 2023
© Jaromir Chalabala/
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Illinois’ southern tip is 500 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, its climate is generally continental, with warm summers and extremely cold winters. In addition, this state has short fluctuations in temperature, cloudiness, wind direction, and humidity. However, most residents agree that the moderate spring and fall temperatures are the most pleasant. Illinois’s agricultural sector is climate-sensitive, as crops depend solely on rain because irrigation is not typically used. But what is the rainiest place in Illinois?

The Rainiest Place in Illinois

Most people don’t know this, but Olmsted is the rainiest place in Illinois, with 48.76 inches of rainfall annually. Olmsted’s rainy season usually occurs during the months of April, May, June, October, November, and December.

Population Size of the Rainest Place in Illinois

Olmsted is a village situated in Pulaski County, Illinois. This little town only has a population of 270 individuals, making it the 1073rd largest city in Illinois and the 22508th biggest town in the US. Unfortunately, this little village’s growth rate is declining by -1,82% yearly, and its population size has reduced by 5.26% since 2020. Olmsted spans over 3 miles, resulting in a population density of 80 individuals per square mile. Below is a table of Olmsted’s growth rate since 2015:

YearPopulationGrowthGrowth Rate

Wildlife in the Rainiest Place in Illinois

Many people are shocked to learn that Illinois is home to some substantial wildlife, thanks to many rural places in the state. There is even wilderness around Chicago with abundant wildlife, not to mention the shores of Lake Michigan. The Prairie State houses mammals, fish, birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and many more animals. But, the official state animals of Illinois include:

White-Tailed Deer

These deer are often found in brushy, wooded, or cleared areas near woody habitats. In addition, their habitats also include fields, pastures, woodland clearings, and roadways. White-tailed deer are most active at night or the hours around dusk and dawn. While these deer are a familiar sight in the Prairie State today, they were almost extinct in Illinois during the late 1800s. This was due to market hunting and the expansion of agricultural lands.

Spiking Antlers on White-tailed Deer
While the white-tailed deer are a familiar sight in the Prairie State today, they were almost extinct in Illinois during the late 1800s.

© Wightman

Northern Cardinal

You can find northern Cardinals in Illinois all year long, and their population has increased since the 1900s when they were very scarce in the northern regions of Illinois. The male’s red feathers and loud whistles make these birds easily identifiable. While male cardinals are bright red, females differ in color with their dusty reddish-brown plumage. However, both sexes have crests on their heads and heavy bills. In addition, these birds typically measure eight inches long.


One of the most common fish species in Illinois is the bluegill. This fish is the primary member of the sunfish family. Furthermore, it is distinguished by its olive to yellow stripes and prominent black spot behind the gills. They reach around 9 inches in length and weigh approximately 12 ounces. Bluegills primarily eat insects and insect larvae, making them carnivores. Additionally, they prey on snails, crayfish, algae, and smaller fish when their regular food supply is low.

Eastern Tiger Salamander

The largest salamander in Illinois is the Eastern tiger salamander, which can reach 13 inches long. They are black with large, bright yellow spots. These reptiles inhabit areas throughout Illinois in habitats like fishless ponds undisturbed by agricultural and urban development. In addition, adults spend the majority of their lives in burrows under logs. But they are often spotted at night or after it rains.

Monarch Butterfly

The monarch butterfly is notorious for its bold orange and white spotted wings. In fact, it is probably the most well-known butterfly in North America. But, what most people don’t know is how far this butterfly actually travels during its annual migration. Monarch butterflies can fly up to 100 miles a day and 2,000 miles each year from Illinois to Mexico for the winter. Furthermore, monarch caterpillars only consume milkweed, so this plant is vital to their survival. So, if there is no access to milkweed in their environment, they will perish.

Painted Turtle

In 2004, an election for the official state reptile of Illinois was conducted online. The candidates included:

  • Painted turtles
  • Eastern box turtles
  • Common garter snakes

Residents of the Prairie State decided to elect the painted turtle because of its abundance throughout the state. While this reptile is susceptible to many threats, it is considered to be of least concern from extinction.

Where Is Olmstead Located on a Map?

Olmstead is on the legendary Ohio River, which separates Illinois from Kentucky. It is not far from where the mighty Mississippi River meets the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois, and the Missouri border.

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The Featured Image

Man with umbrella walking against Chicago cityscape. Rainy and windy day in city.
Chicago may be The Windy City, but it is not the rainiest place in Illinois.
© Jaromir Chalabala/

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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

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