Cold January for Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release February 3, 2014
Cold January for Illinois
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - January 2014 was the eighth coldest January on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature was 18.2 degrees, 8.1 degrees below the 1981-2010 average of 26.3 degrees, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

Cold January Day in Illinois

The coldest January on record was in 1977, with an average temperature of 10.3 degrees.

After being largely absent for the past two winters, below-zero temperatures were common in January 2014. For example, in Chicago the low temperature was zero or below on 13 days at O’Hare Airport. The low temperature was below freezing (32 degrees) every day of the month at Chicago.

Snowfall for January was above average for most of the state, except in far southern Illinois. Amounts ranged from 1 to 6 inches in far southern Illinois to 25 to 30 inches in northeast Illinois (getting a boost from lake-effect snow). The rest of the state saw snowfall totals in the 10 to 20 inch range.

Chicago reported 33.5 inches of snow through the end of the month, the third snowiest January on record.

The combination of the water content of the snow and a few rain events resulted in a state-wide precipitation total of 1.76 inches, which is just slightly below the long-term average of 2.12 inches. However, some areas of the state were well below average in January, especially south of Interstate 70 where winter precipitation is typically heavier than this year.


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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