Snow – Date of First Snowfall and Normals for Illinois

Date of First Snowfall

Here are the median dates of the first measurable snowfall of the season in Illinois. This map is based on 1971-2000 data. While it is not based on the current 1981-2010 averages, the map is still relevant for the purpose of getting an idea of the dates. Measurable snowfall means at least a tenth of an inch.

In the northern third of Illinois, the first snowfall usually occurs around Thanksgiving. The dates move from November to December once you reach central Illinois (just north of a line between Quincy and Champaign). By the time you reach Carbondale, the date can be as late as December 20.

date of first snow

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La Nina and New Winter/Spring Outlooks

Summary: According to NOAA, La Niña has arrived and there is a 65-75 percent chance that it will persist through this winter before fading sometime in the spring. We talked about La Niña in an earlier post here. Illinois has an increased chance of being wetter than normal for this winter and spring with an increased chance of being warmer than normal in spring in central and southern Illinois.

November So Far

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October in Illinois was 10th Wettest

Based on preliminary data, the statewide average precipitation in Illinois for October was 4.94 inches, 1.70 inches above normal and the 10th wettest October since 1895. The largest monthly total was 15.90 inches of precipitation in Glen Ellyn. Seven other sites in that area reported over a foot of precipitation.

The other noteworthy precipitation event of October was that several sites in northern and central Illinois reported seeing snow on October 28. In most areas, it was nothing measurable, just flurries. However, one station, New Lenox (Will County), did report 0.1 inches. Continue reading