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Warmer, drier April could follow cool, dry March          Send a link to a friend

[APRIL 9, 2005]  CHAMPAIGN -- "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 1421; and southern Illinois, April 7," Angel said. "If you're planting tender annuals, add about two weeks to those dates."

See http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/atmos/statecli/
Frost/frost.htm
for more frost information.

[News release provided by Eva Kingston, editor,
Illinois State Water Survey]

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