November 2013 in Illinois – Cold and Dry, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release December 2, 2013
November 2013 in Illinois – Cold and Dry
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - November 2013 will always be remembered for the tornado outbreak on November 17, 2013, that produced 25 tornadoes across Illinois based on the latest reports. While not as dramatic, weather conditions for the month of November were colder and drier than average, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

Sunset Photo

Statewide precipitation was 2.6 inches, 0.9 inches below the 1981-2010 average. This is the fifth month with below-average precipitation for Illinois. Since July, the statewide precipitation has totaled 12.2 inches, 5.4 inches below average.

This year ranks as the 15th driest July-November on record. These statistics are in stark contrast to the first half of 2013, which was the wettest January-June on record with 29.0 inches.

Snowfall was common in the northern half of the state in November. Snowfall amounts were heaviest in the northwest corner of the state and in the range of 4.0 to 4.6 inches in the Galena area.

The statewide temperature for November was 38.3 degrees, 4.2 degrees below average. While cold, it was far from the coldest November on record. That record stands at 33.6 degrees in 1976. Many places in Illinois experienced both spring-time temperatures and winter chill in November.

The warmest day of the month was November 17 as warm, moist air moved in from the south ahead of a strong cold front. This warm, moist air helped fuel the tornado outbreak.

Just one week later, low temperatures dropped down into the teens. For example, Chicago O'Hare Airport reported a high of 69 degrees on November 17 and a low of 11 degrees on November 24. That is a 58-degree change in temperature in 7 days.


The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.

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