Wednesday, Jan. 3

2006 ranks as 9th-warmest year for Illinois          Send a link to a friend

[JAN. 3, 2007]  CHAMPAIGN -- Based on preliminary data, temperatures of 54 degrees statewide
-- 1.8 degrees above 30-year normals -- made 2006 the ninth-warmest year in Illinois since 1895, according to the state climatologist, Jim Angel. This was largely the result of a record-setting January last year with an average temperature of 37.9 degrees, which was 13.3 degrees above normal.

According to Angel, similar annual average temperatures in recent years occurred in 1998, the third-warmest year, with 55 degrees; 1987, the 12-warmest, 53.8 degrees; 2005, the 13th-warmest, 53.8 degrees; and 1991, the 14th-warmest, 53.7 degrees. Top-ranked years remain 1921 with 55.6 degrees and 1931 with 55.3.

It was the 15th-warmest December on record, with temperatures 5.4 degrees above normal. Temperatures the first nine days were 13 degrees below normal and then 12.9 degrees above normal the last 22 days. December temperature extremes ranged from minus 7 at Dixon, Rochelle and Havana on Dec. 8 to 69 at Grayville on Dec. 18.

Statewide precipitation for 2006 was 41.11 inches, which was 2.32 inches or 6 percent above normal. While most of the state was wetter than normal last year, areas around Quincy and east of St. Louis were drier than normal.

December precipitation, the 13th-wettest December on record, averaged 3.67 inches, which was 0.98 inches or 37 percent above normal. Claremont reported 2.93 inches, the largest one-day rainfall, on Dec. 1. Grand Chain Dam reported the largest monthly total, 7.12 inches.

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Other than snowfall from the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 winter storm, which received wide press coverage, no other significant snowfall was reported in Illinois during December.

The National Weather Service outlook for January-March calls for temperatures above normal and precipitation below normal across Illinois. That forecast is driven largely by a moderate El Nino event now present in the Pacific Ocean but expected to diminish gradually in the next few months.

"Even so, we can still expect periods with temperatures and precipitation more typical of the winter season," concludes Angel.

The state climatologist is on the staff of the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

[Illinois State Water Survey news release]


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