Warmer, Drier April Could Follow Cool, Dry March, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release April 5, 2005
Warmer, Drier April Could Follow Cool, Dry March
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

“Despite low precipitation, 16th driest March since 1895, soil moisture is near normal thanks to a wet winter and cool March temperatures averaging 38.9 degrees, 2.2 degrees below normal. March precipitation was only 1.58 inches, 49 percent of normal,” 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.

“Research from the ISWS and elsewhere indicate that the most recent 10-year period is a good indicator of upcoming weather conditions. Since 1995, those data show a pattern of April becoming warmer and drier over time,” says Angel. Warm, dry April temperatures have allowed earlier and faster planting by farmers and gardeners alike.

March temperatures ranged from 0°F at McHenry Lock and Dam (northeastern Illinois) on March 13 to 80°F at Bloomington (central Illinois) on March 31. Grayville had the highest one-day precipitation total (2.02 inches on March 28), while Grand Chain Dam had the highest monthly total (3.96 inches).

“April is usually when the last freezing temperatures occur: northern Illinois (April 28), central Illinois (April 14–21), and southern Illinois (April 7). If you’re planting tender annuals, add about 2 weeks to those dates. See (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/atmos/statecli/Frost/frost.htm) for more frost information,” concludes Angel.

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