Cool October Follows on Heels of a Cool, Wet September, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release October 8, 2003
Cool October Follows on Heels of a Cool, Wet September
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220,
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540,

“September temperatures across Illinois averaged 63.7 degrees, 2.5 degrees below normal and the 15th coolest September since 1895. The lowest reading was 28 degrees in Mt. Carroll on September 29. These cool temperatures continued into the first five days of October before warmer weather returned,” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“A surge of cold air on October 2 pushed low temperatures below 32 degrees north of I-70, including record lows at Springfield (23 degrees), Decatur (25 degrees), and Rockford (23 degrees) and a tie with the old record at Peoria (27 degrees). On average, fall temperatures first make this plunge during the first week of October (northern Illinois), second week (central Illinois), and third week (southern Illinois),” continues Angel.

With 4.60 inches of rainfall in September, 144 percent of average, the month ranks as the 26th wettest September since 1895. Findlay reported 7.01 inches on September 1, the heaviest one-day rainfall total. Sullivan had the highest monthly rainfall total, 9.10 inches.

“North of I-80, precipitation remains below average for the past 3, 6, and 12 months, however. Northwestern Illinois is 9.29 inches below average (74 percent of average), and northeastern Illinois is 7.62 inches below average (79 percent of average).Those two areas are experiencing the 7th and 17th driest October–September period since 1895,” says Angel.

Illinois had severe weather on only two days in September. Extensive tree damage was reported from a tornado in Fulton on September 12. A second tornado blew doors and windows out of a house near Broadwell in Logan County on September 26. Widespread severe thunderstorms on that date included 2-inch hail at Camp Point in Adams County and other reports of hail and wind damage.

The National Weather Service outlooks for October and fall are neutral: no additional chance of above or below normal temperatures and precipitation. “Historically, a wet September leads to an increased likelihood of above average precipitation during the rest of fall. Harvest is in full swing. It’s also time to take advantage of the numerous fall festivals, bring in those houseplants, and start putting the garden to bed,” concludes Angel.

Also See: Frost Dates and Growing Season In Illinois

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