Cool, wet weather slows northern and
central Illinois planting
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[May 03, 2007]
CHAMPAIGN -- "Combined with
cooler temperatures, wet April conditions led to widespread corn
planting delays in the northern two-thirds of the state, where
precipitation averaged 4.05 inches (0.46 inches above normal) and up
to 5-7 inches at some locations. April temperatures averaged 49.5
degrees F statewide (2.7 degrees below normal), and statewide
precipitation was 3.75 inches (just 0.05 inches below normal), based
on preliminary data. Southern Illinois was drier, averaging 3.38
inches (0.74 inches below normal), and planting there is further
along," said Jim Angel, state climatologist with the
Illinois State Water Survey,
a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
"Illinois is still recovering from the early April hard freeze when
temperatures dropped to the low 20s and upper teens statewide after
the sixth-warmest March on record since 1895," Angel noted. "Those
warm March temperatures 6.5 degrees above normal promoted early and
rapid development of fruit crops and winter wheat, leaving them
extremely vulnerable to the extended period of cold temperatures on
April 6-8. While not record-breaking, this early April cold weather
was somewhat rare and occurs roughly once every 10 years on average.
It's an excellent example of how, together, two unusual weather
events can exceed damage (including destroying southern Illinois'
peach and apple crops) of individual events."
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The National Weather Service outlook for May calls for an
increased chance of temperatures above normal, with precipitation
above, below or near normal. The May-July outlook calls for both
temperatures and precipitation above, below or near normal.
"Conditions in May should be more favorable for planting as
warmer temperatures increase the chance for dry fields between rain
events," Angel concluded.
Disclaimer: Data used for all statistics provided herein are from
the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and are based on preliminary
[Text from news release received from
State Water Survey]