March in Illinois – Lots of Snow and Rain

March Temperatures: The statewide average temperature for March was 42.3 degrees, 1 degree above normal. Temperatures swung from periods several degrees above normal and several degrees below normal with little time in-between. Several sites reported temperatures reaching into the 80s. The warmest daily report was Belleville with 86 degrees on March 21. Chicago Midway reported a high of 82 degrees on March 24. Meanwhile, the coldest temperatures of the month were experienced in the northwest quarter of the state, including Altona and Illinois City with a low of 6 degrees on March 25.

March Precipitation: The statewide precipitation was 3.62 inches, 0.66 inches above normal. The highest monthly total precipitation was Lockport with 7.22 inches. Precipitation was greatest in a wide band from Quincy to Chicago with amounts between 3 to 6 inches, which is 1 to 3 inches above normal. The driest area was in southeastern Illinois with only 1 to 2 inches, which is 1 to 2 inches below normal. Click on the maps below for a closer view.

March Snowfall: We did see quite a bit of snow in March. Several places received more snow in March than any other month this winter. The heaviest amounts were in northeastern Illinois thanks to the lake-effect snows. The highest monthly total snowfall was Waukegan with 16.4 inches. Besides the Chicago area, near to above normal snowfall occurred in a band from the Quad Cities down the length of the state. Click on the images for a closer view.

Seasonal Snowfall: Snowfall for the 2016-17 season was well below normal despite the snowy March. Seasonal totals ranged from 20 to 30 inches in far northern Illinois to less than an inch in far southern Illinois. That translates into snowfall departures ranging from 75 percent of normal in far northern Illinois to less than 25 percent of normal in southern Illinois.  Waukegan reported the most snowfall for the season with 35.0 inches, of which half came in March as noted earlier.

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