A Very Warm October in Illinois

[Edited on October 26 to reflect update] Based on data through October 25, the statewide average temperature for Illinois in October is 60.7 degrees. That is 6.3 degrees above normal and the fourth warmest October on record. Temperatures for the rest of October are expected to be 3 to 5 degrees above normal. Therefore, this October could slip in the polls. Here are the top ten warmest Octobers

  1. 1963 with 63.6°F
  2. 1947 with 62.2°F
  3. 1971 with 61.3°F
  4. 2016 with 60.7°F
  5. 1900 with 60.6°F
  6. 1956 with 60.2°F
  7. 2007 with 59.9°F
  8. 1897 with 59.7°F
  9. 1950 with 59.3°F
  10. 1920 with 59.2°F

Here are the U.S. temperature departures for October so far . Illinois and the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. are experiencing above-normal temperatures (shown  in various shades of pumpkin spice, appropriately enough). Speaking of pumpkins, the harvest for this year looks much better than last year.

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October Warmer and Drier than Average in Illinois

October ended up warmer and drier than average in Illinois. The statewide average temperature was 55.8 degrees, 1.7 degrees above average.

The statewide average precipitation was 1.47 inches, 1.79 inches below average and the 22nd driest October on record. Even so, there were a few areas on the border with Iowa and Kentucky that received 2 to 3 inches of precipitation (dark blue in map below). The two largest monthly totals came from Stockton IL (COOP) and Orion IL (IL-HY-1), both reporting totals of 3.47 inches of precipitation.

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The outlook for November, according to the National Weather Service, shows an increased chance for above-average temperatures across Illinois and the Midwest. The outlook shows an increased for above-average precipitation for the southern two-thirds of Illinois. This is part of broad area of expected wetter conditions across the southern US. Meanwhile, the northern third of Illinois has equal chances (EC) for above, below, and near-average precipitation.  Click on the maps to enlarge.

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Rain At Last in Illinois

Here is the rainfall map for the past 7 days. Most of the rain in Illinois has come in the last 2 days of that mapping period. In fact, almost all the rain in October for Illinois has fallen in the last 2 days.

Most of Illinois was in the two lighter shades of green, indicating rainfall amount of between 0.5 and 1.5 inches. There is a hole in southwestern Illinois (blue) were rainfall amounts were less than 0.5 inches. Higher amounts of 2 or more inches just missed Illinois, and fell across the border in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

It looks like we have one last shot of rain in October on Saturday.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Second Driest October on Record for Illinois, But Not for Long

As of this morning, the statewide average precipitation in Illinois was 0.34 inches. That makes it the second driest October on record. However, the forecast for Tuesday will move us down in the rankings. In the meantime, here is where we stand for dry Octobers:

Rank Year Amount Departure Percent of Average
1 1964 0.18 -3.06 6%
2 2015 0.34 -2.90 11%
3 1897 0.46 -2.78 14%
4 1908 0.50 -2.78 15%
5 1895 0.60 -2.64 19%
6 1952 0.67 -2.57 21%
7 1904 0.71 -2.53 22%
8 1956 0.72 -2.52 22%
9 1915 0.83 -2.41 26%
10 1963 0.93 -2.31 29%

October Warm and Dry So Far in Illinois

October has been both warmer and drier than average so far for Illinois.

Temperatures have run 1 to 2 degrees above average in Illinois and across most of the Midwest (first map). This follows close on the heels of a September that is now considered the 8th warmest on record at 70.4 degrees according to NCEI.

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Meanwhile, precipitation has been largely missing in action in October (map below). The areas in gray across Iowa, and parts of surrounding states indicate almost no measurable precipitation has fallen. It’s hard to tell on this map because of the scale, but most of Illinois has received less a tenth of an inch for the month so far. The statewide average is 0.05 inches.   Continue reading

Forecast for October, Fall, and Winter – Warmer Than Average

The NWS Climate Prediction Center released their latest outlook for October and beyond. It looks like the warm-than-average weather is expected to continue for the next several months. The primary driver in the forecast is the ongoing El Niño in the Pacific Ocean basin.

October

Illinois has an increased chance of above-average temperatures for October. There is not much to report on precipitation in Illinois. We are between drier-than-average conditions to our northeast and wetter-than-average conditions to our southwest.

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October-December

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October Wetter Than Average for Illinois

Based on preliminary numbers*, the statewide average precipitation for October in Illinois was 4.5 inches, which is 1.2 inches above average. It was the 15th wettest October since 1895. The wettest October on record for the state was 1941 with 9.06 inches of precipitation.

The largest precipitation totals were in the central third of the state where 6 to 8 inches were common. Greenfield had an incredible 9.94 inches of precipitation. Medora, Girard, and Carlinville also reported over 9 inches of precipitation. Precipitation totals were more moderate elsewhere; 4 to 6 inches in southern Illinois and 2 to 4 inches in northern Illinois. Also, several locations in northeast Illinois reported seeing traces of snow for the month.

The statewide average temperature was 54.0 degrees, 0.1 degrees below average.

*I updated these numbers on November 2 with only a 0.2 degree change in temperature from 54.2 to 54.0 degrees.

MAPS AND PLOTS FOR OCTOBER

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The plot of past October precipitation for Illinois (below) shows that things have become slightly wetter over time, about 0.64 inches in the last century. The outstanding October’s of 1941 and 2009 are easily seen as well.

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