This winter was the fourth-coldest on record in Illinois
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[March 06, 2014]
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
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 record.
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., fluffier snow).
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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.