This winter was the fourth-coldest on record in Illinois
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CHAMPAIGN — The average
statewide temperature for the three core winter months of December,
January and February was 20.8 degrees. It was 8.2 degrees below
average and the fourth-coldest December-February period on record,
according to Jim Angel, state climatologist, at the Illinois State
Water Survey, University of Illinois.
This winter was in a three-way tie with 1917-1918 and 1976-1977.
The coldest winter was 1977-1978 with a statewide average
temperature of 19.6 degrees. The winter of 1978-1979 was in
second place at 19.9 degrees.
The Illinois statewide average
temperature for February was 18.7 degrees, or 12.1 degrees below
the long-term average. It was the seventh-coldest February on
The snowfall for February was above average across the state.
The total snowfall ranged from 4 inches in far southern Illinois
to 15 to 20 inches in north-central Illinois. The snowfall
departures from average ranged from 1 to 5 inches south of
Interstate 70 and from 10 to 18 inches difference from average
between Interstates 70 and 80.
The statewide average precipitation for February was 2.28
inches, which is 0.17 inches above the average amount.
Precipitation includes rain events along with the water content
of any snowfall. The result in February was that the
above-average snowfall did not translate to above-average
precipitation because several of those snowfall events occurred
in colder conditions when the snow density was lower (i.e.,
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Snowfall this winter so far has been above average across the state.
Snowfall totals ranged from 10 inches in the southernmost counties
of the state to over 60 inches in the northeast. Some of the largest
snowfall totals for the entire winter were in the Chicago area and
included Lincolnwood with 79.8 inches and Oak Park with 78.6 inches.
"This winter was comparable to the winters in the late 1970s in
terms of the cold weather and snow," Angel said.
[Text from file received from
State Water Survey]
The Illinois State Water Survey at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the
Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois
concerned with water and atmospheric resources.