Warm November Precedes Wintry Start to December, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release December 4, 2006
Warm November Precedes Wintry Start to December
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

"November temperatures were 2.4°F above normal and the 24th warmest November on record. That's a stark contrast to the first four days of December, which had temperatures 13.5°F below normal, widespread snow, and ice from the winter season's first significant storm.

"Snowfall amounts reported in December from that storm were 12 inches or more at 15 sites in central and northern Illinois, including 18 inches at Princeton. Fifty other sites in the region reported between 6 and 12 inches. Many locations also had significant sleet and freezing rain, which knocked out power," 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.

Statewide, November heating degree days (HDDs), a measure of home heating demand, were 10 percent below normal and averaged 627 HDDs statewide compared to the normal 699 HDDs. For the 2006-2007 heating season, beginning July 1 and through December 4, statewide HDDs already are 7 percent above normal and averaged 1322 HDDs, compared to the normal 1241 HDDs.

Preliminary data for Illinois indicate that November's temperature extremes ranged from 14°F at Elizabeth on November 4 to 80°F at Belleville on November 9.

November precipitation averaged 3.35 inches, just about normal. La Harpe reported 3.20 inches, the largest one-day rainfall on November 30, and Flora reported 5.35 inches, the largest monthly total. No significant snowfall was reported in November.

The National Weather Service winter outlook still calls for an increased chance of temperatures above normal across Illinois and precipitation below normal in the southern two-thirds of the state.

"Even with a seasonal forecast for warmer-than-normal conditions, expect periods of significant winter weather that can be life threatening. Remember to take necessary precautions and listen to NWS weather radio and the local media for the latest information on winter storms," concludes Angel.

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