5th Warmest November, 2nd Warmest Fall in Illinois

Temperature

This was the 5th warmest November on record for Illinois, based on preliminary data. The statewide average temperature was 47.4 degrees, and 4.9 degrees above normal. Here are the top ten warmest Novembers in Illinois since 1895:

  1. 2001 with 49.9°F
  2. 1931 with 49.1°F
  3. 1909 with 48.8°F
  4. 1999 with 48.4°F
  5. 2016 with 47.4°F 
  6. 2009 with 47.2°F
  7. 1902 with 46.9°F
  8. 1990 with 46.8°F
  9. 2015 with 46.6°F
  10. 1913 with 46.4°F

It was also the 2nd warmest fall on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature for fall was 59.4 degrees, 5 degrees above normal. Only the fall of 1931 was warmer at 59.8 degrees. The climatological fall months are September, October, and November.

Precipitation

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The Edge of Drought – Southern Illinois

“The Edge of Drought” sounds like a soap opera or a catchy book title. However, southern Illinois is on the edge of a much larger drought in the southern US. The US Drought Monitor just released their latest map on Thursday, showing some of the southernmost counties in D1 (moderate drought). Other areas of Illinois are labeled D0 (abnormally dry).

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Latest NWS Outlooks for Next 3 Seasons

The NWS Climate Prediction Center released their latest outlooks for December, winter, spring, and summer. La Niña conditions are present and slightly favored to persist (~55% chance) through winter 2016-17. It is one of many players in our winter weather. Click to enlarge.

December

Illinois has equal chances (EC) of above, below, and near-normal precipitation and temperatures.

December-February

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Will It Ever Snow Again in Illinois?

With the streak of warm weather this fall, thoughts of snow are far away – but not for much longer. The first significant winter storm for the Midwest is on the horizon on Thursday and Friday. It will likely hit Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, but miss Illinois (blue shading on the map below).

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So when can we expect to see that first measurable snowfall (0.1 inches or more) in Illinois?

Here is a map that we constructed a few years ago using data from 1971-2000. No surprise – the earliest dates are in the Chicago area and cluster around November 20. For the rest of the northern half of the state, the average date is towards the end of November. In central Illinois, I have always considered Thanksgiving to be the start of the snowfall season. The average dates get dramatically later as you go southward, getting closer to Christmas by the time you get to Carbondale and southward.

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November – Warm and Dry Across US

Normally I write about Illinois, but the warm, dry weather experienced across Illinois so far in November covers a much larger area.

Here are the temperature departures from normal across the US. Almost all of the US has experienced well above-normal temperatures (except the East Coast). Illinois has been running about 8 degrees above normal. However, the temperature departures in the upper Midwest and the High Plains are 9 to 15 degrees above normal. The NWS forecast indicates that this pattern of warmer temperatures will persist for the rest of November.

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7th Warmest October for Illinois

October

The statewide average temperature for October in Illinois was 59.8 degrees, 5.4 degrees above normal and the 7th warmest October on record.

The statewide average precipitation for October in Illinois was 2.38 inches, 0.86 inches below normal. There were a few bands of 3 to 5 inches across northern Illinois and along the Interstate 70 corridor (left panel). Outside of those areas, October was drier than normal (right panel). The site with the largest monthly rainfall total was Palos Park, in Cook County, with 5.51 inches (IL-CK-50).

Year to Date

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