Second Warmest January on Record in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release February 2, 2006
Second Warmest January on Record in Illinois
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220,
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540,

"Preliminary data for Illinois indicate January was the second warmest one since 1895. Temperatures statewide averaged 37.5°F, 12.7 degrees above normal and only 0.1 degree behind the all-time record of 12.8 degrees set in 1933. January was also wet, with 2.81 inches of precipitation (0.88 inches above normal). Much of that precipitation fell as rain rather than snow because of the warm temperatures, helping Illinois recover from effects of the 2005 drought," says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

"A benefit of the wet, warm January is that precipitation has been able to soak into the ground because it's not frozen. Soil moisture and streamflows in northern and western Illinois are looking much better than they did a month ago," says Angel.

Temperature extremes ranged from 71°F at Belleville on January 8 to 3°F at Mt. Carroll on January 21. Shabbona reported the heaviest one-day precipitation, 3.05 inches on January 29, and Grand Tower reported the highest monthly total, 4.91 inches.

So what comes next? Historically, after a warmer-than-normal January, February temperatures typically are warmer than normal (41 percent chance), normal (27 percent chance), or below normal (32 percent chance). March temperatures after such a January typically are just the reverse: colder than normal (41 percent chance), normal (32 percent chance), or warmer than normal (27 percent chance).

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