Mild December wraps up an average 2003
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[JAN. 8, 2004]
in Illinois during 2003 averaged 51.7 degrees, only 0.4 degrees
below normal," said Jim Angel, state climatologist with the
Illinois State Water Survey, a
division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
"Despite the exceptionally cold
temperatures on Dec. 11-14, December temperatures averaged 33.4
degrees, 3.6 degrees above normal statewide. Temperature extremes
ranged from 62 degrees on Dec. 1 at Belleville to minus 2 degrees on
Dec. 12 at Freeport," he said.
"Many locations across the central
third of the state, where snowfall was widespread, reported 4- to
8-inch accumulations for December, and Havana reported 10.3 inches.
Amounts tapered off southward, as expected, with no snowfall in far
southern Illinois. The 1- to 4-inch total in the northern third of
Illinois was well below normal. This snow deficit was most notable
in northeastern Illinois, where Chicago at Midway Airport reported
only 2.6 inches in December, compared to the 10.1-inch normal," says
Statewide precipitation for December
was 102 percent of normal (2.73 inches, compared with a normal of
2.69 inches). Total precipitation during 2003 was 97 percent of
normal (37.64 inches, compared with a normal of 38.79 inches). Even
after a wet November and December, it was driest in the northwest
corner of the state, at 86 percent of normal for 2003.
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Based on long-term temperature trends,
even without a significant El Nino or La Nina event in the Pacific,
National Weather Service outlooks for January-March are neutral for
central and southern Illinois but call for a slightly increased
chance of above normal temperatures in the northern third of the
state. Forecasts for the next two weeks indicate more of the colder
than normal temperatures we've been having across the entire state.
last 30 years, we have seen a trend towards milder Februaries. After
such a mild December, Illinois' wintry weather may be confined to
January this year," Angel said.
State Water Survey news release]