January Goes from Mild to Wild, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release February 4, 2004
January Goes from Mild to Wild
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220, jimangel@illinois.edu
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540, eva@sws.uiuc.edu

“The first half of January in Illinois was mild with little snow and temperatures six degrees above normal, but that all changed during the second half of the month, which was much colder, eight degrees below normal to be exact,” says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Temperature extremes ranged from 71 degrees at Winchester on January 3 to temperatures below zero at many locations later in the month, including -17 degrees on January 31 at Bondville (Champaign County). Overall, the statewide average temperature for January 2004 was 23.8 degrees, one degree below normal.

“After a December with below normal snowfall in many locations, January snowfall was near normal. The exception was an area in northwestern Illinois with above normal snowfall, including 19.8 inches reported at Galesburg, the most snow reported in Illinois for January. Typical amounts were 2–5 inches in southern Illinois, 3–7 inches in central Illinois, and 7–12 inches in northern Illinois. Midway Airport at Chicago, which normally receives 12.9 inches in January, reported 13.3 inches in January after getting only 2.6 inches in December,” says Angel.

Statewide precipitation for January was 112 percent of normal (2.15 inches, compared to a normal of 1.93 inches). In general, precipitation was above normal in the southern half of the state and below normal in the northern half. The heaviest band of precipitation fell as rain rather than snow from St. Louis eastward, with 4- to 5-inch amounts common for the month. A majority of this came from a storm on January 4–5.

National Weather Service forecasts for the next two weeks indicate more colder-than-normal temperatures across the entire state, coupled with normal to below normal precipitation.

“But the good news is that we are gaining about 3 minutes of daylight every day. Longer days mean the cold weather can’t linger much longer,” reminds Angel.

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