Halfway Through January

Back in the office after the first round of the 2014 Corn and Soybean Classics. There are two remaining dates, January 21 in Mt. Vernon and January 28 in Champaign.

It is no surprise that the first 15 days of January have been colder than average. The statewide average temperature for this period was 19.9 degrees and 3.9 degrees below the 1981-2010 average for this period.

While Illinois experienced some very cold temperatures, especially on January 6 and 7, very few records were broken. Here is a list of:

This list is not final as more stations will file reports at the end of the month.

The snowfall in January has been impressive so far. There was a large area across the state with 10 to 15 inches, mostly as a result of the January 5-6 winter storm (first map). Compared to the average for the first half of January, this January’s snowfall has been above average for almost all the state (second map). The largest departures from average were in central and eastern Illinois and ranged from 8 to 12 inches above average.

The statewide average precipitation (rainfall and the water content of any snow or ice) for the first 15 days of January was 1.48 inches and 165 percent of the long-term average for this period.

Probably some of that moisture has made its way into the soils if they have thawed out. We have 4-inch soil temperatures across the state and they have been in the mid-30s across southern Illinois and parts of central Illinois for some time now. So it is likely that the frost depth is less than 4 inches in most of those areas.  I did see a lot of water ponded and frozen in low-lying areas of fields across much of northern Illinois this week as those soils are more deeply frozen.

Most of the rivers and streams across the state are in better shape now than they were a month ago, especially across the central part of the state. Check out the USGS streamflow reports.