Warmer, drier April could follow cool,
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[APRIL 9, 2005]
"Despite low precipitation, 16th-driest March since 1895, soil
moisture is near normal thanks to a wet winter and cool March
temperatures averaging 38.9 degrees, 2.2 degrees below normal," said
Jim Angel, state climatologist with the
Illinois State Water Survey, a
division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. March
precipitation was only 1.58 inches, 49 percent of normal.
"Research from the ISWS and elsewhere indicates that the most recent
10-year period is a good indicator of upcoming weather conditions,"
Angel said. "Since 1995, those data show a pattern of April becoming
warmer and drier over time." Warm, dry April temperatures have
allowed earlier and faster planting by farmers and gardeners alike.
March temperatures ranged from zero at McHenry Lock and Dam in
northeastern Illinois on March 13 to 80 degrees at Bloomington on
March 31. Grayville had the highest one-day precipitation total,
2.02 inches on March 28, while Grand Chain Dam had the highest
monthly total, 3.96 inches.
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"April is usually when the last freezing temperatures occur:
northern Illinois, April 28; central Illinois, April 14–21; and
southern Illinois, April 7," Angel said. "If you're planting tender
annuals, add about two weeks to those dates."
Frost/frost.htm for more frost information.
[News release provided by
Eva Kingston, editor,
Illinois State Water Survey]