Cool, Dry February but Warm, Dry Winter, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release March 3, 2004
Cool, Dry February but Warm, Dry Winter
Source:   
Contact:   
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

“Even though February temperatures in Illinois were slightly below normal, and precipitation was way below normal, December–February, traditional winter, had slightly above normal temperatures and slightly below normal precipitation,” 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.

Overall, February temperatures averaged 29.7 degrees statewide, 0.8 degrees below normal, while winter temperatures statewide averaged 28.9 degrees, 0.6 degrees above normal, thanks to a warm December. Extremes ranged from 68 degrees at Stelle on February 28 to -19 degrees on February 4 at Dixon.

“Snowfall this winter was below normal in southern and eastern Illinois but above normal in western and northwestern Illinois. Totals ranged from 5–10 inches (southern Illinois), 10–15 inches (central Illinois), to 15–25 inches (northern Illinois). Lake Villa, along the Illinois–Wisconsin border, reported the heaviest snowfall in February, 11.1 inches,” says Angel.

Precipitation in February throughout Illinois was 0.81 inches, only 41 percent of normal and the 11th driest February since 1895. Murphysboro reported the highest February total, 1.64 inches.

“Precipitation statewide this winter was 5.69 inches, 87 percent of normal. This is not a concern yet because the growing season has not yet begun, and water supplies are adequate statewide. Historically, temperatures warm up about 10 degrees in March, and precipitation also increases. Spring is just around the corner,” concludes Angel.

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