Cold Start to February

The first 5 days of February were almost 9 degrees below the long-term average for the state of Illinois. Along with the cold weather has been widespread snow as the map below shows. Snowfall amounts ranged from 2-4 inches in southern Illinois to 10-12 inches in an area between Quincy and Kankakee.

The cold, snowy weather across the Midwest has caused salt supplies to run low and has strained budgets for snow removal. Some communities have resorted to creative solutions, such as this report on CNN.  While I have not  seen any statistics beyond those from single storms, I am sure that the number of winter weather car accidents is well above average for this winter.


The new outlook from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center for February came out over the weekend. Their prediction is for an increased chance of colder-than-average weather across the central US, including all of Illinois (first map below). They also predict an increased chance of above-average precipitation for much of southern and central Illinois. Some of that could fall as rain but it is most likely to fall as snow (second map below).