7th-wettest October follows
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[NOV. 13, 2004]
CHAMPAIGN -- "Illinois has just had the
seventh-wettest October on the heels of the fourth-driest September
on record since 1895," said Jim Angel,
Illinois State Water Survey, a
division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Soil moisture statewide recovered
rapidly after 6.10 inches of rainfall, which was 2.18 inches above
normal for October and up considerably from the 0.86-inch average in
September. While the increased soil moisture is good news for next
spring's crops, it has delayed fieldwork this fall.
The average statewide temperature
for October was 55 degrees F, just 0.4 degrees above the norm.
Extremes ranged from 24 degrees at Congerville, in central Illinois,
on Oct. 5 to 87 degrees at Carbondale, in southern Illinois, on Oct.
8. Central Illinois had the highest one-day precipitation total,
3.29 inches at Newton on Oct. 19, and also the highest monthly
total, 7.99 inches at Robinson.
Tornadoes returned to southern
Illinois on Oct. 18. There were reports of two injuries and damaged
farm buildings and mobile homes after a tornado touched down near
Goreville. A second tornado near Tunnel Hill caused similar damage
but no injuries. The National Weather Service rated both tornadoes
as F2 on the Fujita scale, a measure of tornado intensity with F5
being the most damaging tornado. Unofficially, this brings the
number of tornadoes reported in Illinois for 2004 to 67 -- much
lower than last year's record number of 120.
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"Although April-June is the typical
tornado season in Illinois, tornadoes actually occur in all months
of the year," Angel said.
The National Weather Service is
calling for a drier-than-normal winter in Illinois with an even
chance of temperatures above normal, normal or below normal.
Regionally, Illinois is sandwiched between increased chances of
temperatures above normal to the west and below normal to the
southeast. "Such patterns are typical of past, weak El Niņo events
in the Pacific Ocean," Angel said.
[News release provided by
Eva Kingston, editor,
Illinois State Water Survey]