Friday, March 5

 

February cooler in warm, dry winter

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[MARCH 5, 2004]  "Even though February temperatures in Illinois were slightly below normal, and precipitation was way below normal, December-February -- traditional winter -- had slightly above normal temperatures and slightly below normal precipitation," said Jim Angel, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Overall, February temperatures averaged 29.7 degrees statewide, which is 0.8 degrees below normal. However, thanks to a warm December, winter temperatures statewide averaged 28.9 degrees, which is 0.6 degrees above normal. Extremes ranged from 68 degrees at Stelle on Feb. 28 to minus 19 degrees on Feb. 4 at Dixon.

Snowfall this winter was below normal in southern and eastern Illinois but above normal in western and northwestern Illinois, Angel said. Totals ranged from 5-10 inches in southern Illinois to 10-15 inches in central Illinois and 15-25 inches in northern Illinois. Lake Villa, along the Illinois-Wisconsin border, reported the heaviest February snowfall, 11.1 inches.

 

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Precipitation in February throughout Illinois was 0.81 inches, which is only 41 percent of normal and the 11th driest February since 1895. Murphysboro reported the highest February total, 1.64 inches. Statewide, the precipitation this winter was 5.69 inches, which is 87 percent of normal.

Precipitation "is not a concern yet because the growing season has not yet begun and water supplies are adequate statewide," Angel said. "Historically, temperatures warm up about 10 degrees in March, and precipitation also increases. Spring is just around the corner."

[Illinois State Water Survey news release]

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