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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Warm, Wet November in Illinois

Summary: Illinois just finished its third wettest and tenth warmest November on record. Even with the warmer conditions, significant snowfall fell across the northern half of the state over the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Precipitation

The statewide precipitation total was 5.60 inches, 2.13 inches above average and the third wettest November on record. In first place was 1985 with 9.05 inches, and in second place was 1992 with 6.51 inches. I remember November 1985 quite well – it was overcast every day and dreary the entire month.

The largest reported precipitation total for November was Rock Island Lock and Dam with 8.39 inches. This was followed closely by Sparta (IL-RH-8) with 8.09 inches. Precipitation includes both rainfall and the water content of snowfall.

Here is the map of total precipitation for November. Areas in yellow and orange received 6 to 9 inches of precipitation. Areas in the shades of green were not quite as wet but received between 3 and 6 inches of precipitation.

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Rainfall Totals from the Recent Storm

A large, slow-moving low-pressure system passed through the central US this week, bringing widespread rains from Louisiana all the way up the Mississippi River Valley. Areas in yellow and beige received 2 to 4 inches of rain, including large parts of Illinois. Some counties along the Illinois-Indiana border received amounts in the 1 to 2 inch range. Meanwhile, areas in Missouri and Arkansas received 5 to 8 inches.

The largest amount reported in Illinois in the last three days was 3.95 inches in White Hall, IL. White Hall is in Greene County and where my great-grandparents lived.

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Here are the rainfall departures for November so far. Areas in green are between half an inch and two inches above average. Areas in blue are two to four inches above average. This should pretty much erase any concerns about dry conditions earlier this fall.

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By the way, these maps came from a NWS product at http://water.weather.gov/precip/

Cold Week for the US

It has been a very cold week in the US with temperature departures in the central US at 15 to 25 degrees below average. Yesterday, Champaign-Urbana was 26 degrees below average for the date and just 2 degrees shy of the record low of 6 degrees set back in 1891.

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Here is the temperature departure for today from the site Climate Reanalyzer showing the bitterly cold temperatures in the eastern half of the US, while once again Alaska is well above average. We saw this pattern most of last winter, starting in late November.

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Here is the plot of the jet stream (high winds at upper levels of the atmosphere – shaded in yellow and red) showing its dip down into the southern US. That means we pretty much have an open door to cold Arctic air in the Midwest.

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Cold Start to November in the Midwest

So far, November has been cooler than average across Illinois and the eastern two-thirds of the Midwest (below). The statewide average temperature is about 5 degrees below average.

The NWS forecasts indicate that temperatures are likely to stay below-average for the next two weeks across Illinois and the Midwest. The second and third maps are the latest NWS 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts.

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