Second Coldest April on Record in Illinois

Temperature

Based on the official data, the statewide average temperature was  44.5 degrees,  8.1 degrees below normal. It was the second coldest April on record, only beaten by 43.1 degrees set in April 1907. Our statewide records go back to 1895. Normal refers to a specific benchmark, the 1981-2010 average. See the longer explanation here.

Here are the temperature departures from normal look like across the Midwest. Areas in green are 1 to 9 degrees below normal, while areas in icy blue are 9 or more degrees below normal. The lowest temperature reported in Illinois for April was -1 at both Avon and Lincoln on April 2. At the other extreme, we did reach into the 80s at times during the month. The warmest reading was 86 degrees at Kaskaskia on April 13.

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Precipitation

The statewide average precipitation for April in Illinois was  2.37 inches,  1.41 inches below normal. In general, areas in the north and west had lower precipitation totals and were part of a larger area of below-normal precipitation that extended into Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and beyond. Precipitation is the combination of both rainfall and the water content of snow.

The largest monthly total precipitation was Metropolis, home of Superman, with 6.73  inches as reported by the CoCoRaHS observer (IL-MC-2). On the other extreme, the Quincy Airport reported only 0.63 inches for the month and reflects the other low totals in the area.

Snowfall

Snowfall was widespread across Illinois in April, which is highly unusual. Parts of central Illinois received more snow than northwest Minnesota. Snowfall was above-normal across most of the Midwest. The largest reported monthly total in Illinois was 12.0 inches at Augusta, IL (Hancock County).

 

 

 

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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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Average Date of First Snow in Illinois

I have noticed that the average date of the first snow is a popular search term on the blog, so here is the reposting of 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.

Median Date:

In the northern third of Illinois, the first snowfall occurred around Thanksgiving. The dates switch 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. From this you can see that we are by no means behind schedule this year.

date of first snow

Early Date:

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Widespread Heavy Rain Expected this Week

The rain has finally moved into Illinois this morning. According to the National Weather Service, widespread heavy rain is expected to continue in Illinois over the next 3 days. Here is the forecast map for Tuesday morning showing a large storm moving across the central US. Rain is likely from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to the western Great Lakes. Snow is likely in the Plains states (areas in blue). However, we will likely be too warm in Illinois to see snowfall.

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Forecast map for Tuesday morning. Dark green means that rain is likely. The blues back in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska means snows. Source: NWS.

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After Slow Start to Snow Season, Illinois Catching Up

After a slow start to the snowfall season in Illinois, we are now catching up. Heavy snow fell across northern Illinois over the weekend and more snow is arriving today.

The Chicago NWS office has a nice write-up on the recent historic winter storm that stretched all the way across Illinois and into Indiana. We can call it a historic winter storm because it was the fifth largest in Chicago history with 19.3 inches reported at O’Hare airport.

Here are our snowfall departure from average as of a week ago and as of this morning. Northern Illinois went from a deficit of 1 to 8 inches to a surplus of 1 to 8 inches in green and 8 or more inches in blue. And more snow is falling as I write this so some of the deficits across central Illinois may be erased soon.

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Snowfall departure from average as of January 29, 2015. Click to enlarge.
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Snowfall departure from average as of February 4, 2015. Click to enlarge.

January 2015 in Illinois – Cool and Dry

January 2015 in Illinois was cooler and drier than average. The statewide temperature was 25.4 degrees, 1 degree below average and the 53rd coldest on record. However, it was not nearly as cold as last January when the average temperature was 19.3 degrees and ranked as the 16th coldest on record.

The statewide average precipitation for January 2015 was 1.53 inches, 0.5 inches below average. Because of dry weather in November, December, and January, the US Drought Monitor introduced “D0” in northern and western Illinois. As I explained in an earlier post, this is not a great concern yet because of the low demand for water in winter but we are watching the situation.

Snowfall ranged from less than an inch in the far south to 10 to 15 inches north of Interstate 80 (first map).  That results in above-average snowfall in the northern half of the state and below-average for the southern half (second map). However, this was far less snow than January 2014 (last map) when most of the state was covered with 10 to 25 inches of snow.  Continue reading

Friday Wrapup – Illinois Very Cold and Dry in November

snow-nov21So far, November has been much colder and drier than average. The statewide average temperature is 34.6 degrees, which is 9 degrees below average.

The statewide average precipitation (rainfall + water content of snow) was only 0.6 inches, about a third of the average through this date.

There have been astounding snowfall totals in places like Buffalo, NY, and some significant snowfall in Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, Illinois and most of the surrounding states have had far less snowfall (first map) in November. Many sites in the state had 1 to 2 inches except for a stretch between Quincy and Chicago with less than an inch.

The modest snowfall totals in November so far are not that unusual. Average snowfall totals for the month are generally less than an inch south of I-80 and about 1 to 2 inches north of I-80 (second map).

map2Illinois-snow-11NOV-normals