Saturday, Dec. 6


Mild November was eighth wettest
on record    
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[DEC. 6, 2003]  Maybe it didn't seem like it, but it rained enough in November. "Widespread rains helped erase concerns about soil moisture, even in the northern part of the state, because Illinois just had the eighth wettest November since 1895," says Jim Angel, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

"Statewide average precipitation for the 11 months of 2003 so far is 35.31 inches, 98 percent of average. Despite the wet November, the northwest corner of the state between I-39 and I-80 is down by almost 5.5 inches for 2003, and water levels in a few streams and shallow wells are still low," says Angel.

Compared with the 8.91 inches of precipitation in 1985, the wettest November on record, precipitation across the state was 4.88 inches, or 147 percent of average. Pana reported 7.16 inches, the most rainfall in November.

East central Illinois reported the only significant snowfall of the month, 0.2-0.5 inch after Thanksgiving. Typically, November is not very snowy, and average amounts range from less than an inch in southern Illinois to 1-2 inches in central Illinois and 2-3 inches in northern Illinois.

"With an average statewide temperature of 44.3 degrees, 2.6 degrees above average, Illinois also had the 20th warmest November since 1895. Temperature extremes ranged from 83 degrees on Nov. 4 in Belleville to 13 degrees on Nov. 30 at Grand Tower. Temperatures averaged 49.8 degrees in November 2001, the warmest November on record since 1895," says Angel.


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Although National Weather Service outlooks for December indicate a slightly increased chance for above average temperature in the southern half of Illinois, they are neutral on precipitation. Winter outlooks concur on precipitation but show a slightly increased chance for above average temperatures in a line north of St. Louis to Kankakee. More information about winter weather is also available from the Illinois State Water Survey site at

"The National Weather Service expects the weather pattern this winter to be more highly variable than that of last winter, which suggests more big temperature swings such as those in both October and November. There also could be more winter storms but probably not a repeat of last year's much above average snowfall in southern Illinois and much below average snowfall in northern Illinois," says Angel.

[Illinois State Water Survey news release]

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