Third warmest winter for Illinois

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The statewide average temperature for this winter, including the months of December, January, and February, was 34.2 degrees. That was 5.2 degrees above normal and the third warmest winter on record, says Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The warmest winter on record was 1931-1932 at 37.1 degrees. This was followed by a two-way tie for second place with 1997-1998 and 2001-2002 at 34.5 degrees. This winter was a close third at 34.2 degrees.

Besides the overall warm weather, this winter will be remembered for the lack of days below zero at most locations. The coldest readings in the state were a mere -6 degrees at both Elizabeth and Galena in the northwestern corner of the state.

The statewide average precipitation for winter was 6.73 inches, just 0.24 inches below normal. Much of that precipitation fell as rain and not snow. Snowfall totals were 50 to 75 percent of normal across much of northern Illinois and 25 to 50 percent of normal in central and southern Illinois.

The snowiest spot in the state through the end of February was Woodstock with 27.9 inches, followed closely by Stockton with 27.6 inches and Mt. Carroll with 27.3 inches.

The statewide average temperature for February was 35.1 degrees, 4.6 degrees above average, and the fifteenth warmest February on record. The statewide average precipitation was 1.55 inches, 0.4 inches below normal. Snowfall ranged from less than an inch in southern Illinois to 3 inches in central Illinois. It was a little snowier in the northern third of the state with amounts ranging from 3 to 8 inches.

Of course we could see more snow in March, especially in northern Illinois. However, the National Weather Service outlook for March calls for a very high chance of above normal temperatures, says Angel.

The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.