Warm and Damp November in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release December 1, 2015
Warm and Damp November in Illinois
Jim Angel, Ph.D. - (217) 333-0729, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, sheppard@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois experienced its third wettest and tenth warmest November on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

The statewide precipitation total was 5.60 inches, 2.13 inches above average and the third wettest November on record. In first place was 1985 with 9.05 inches, and in second place was 1992 with 6.51 inches.

Accumulated Snowfall (in) November 1, 2015 to November 30, 2015
Accumulated Snowfall (in) November 1,
2015 to November 30, 2015

The largest reported precipitation total for November was reported in Rock Island with 8.39 inches. This was followed closely by Sparta with 8.09 inches. Precipitation includes both rainfall and the water content of snowfall.

Most of the November snowfall came from a winter storm before Thanksgiving, which left a band of heavy snow stretching from the High Plains through Michigan. Typical amounts in northern Illinois for November were in the 6- to 12-inch range.

A few places along the IL-WI border had the highest amounts, including Harvard with 20.8 inches, and Gurnee with 20.2 inches.  Snowfall totals dropped off steeply, moving southward with the southern boundary of the snowfall ending near Interstate 70.

The statewide average temperature was 46.0 degrees, 3.5 degrees above average and the 10th warmest November on record. The spread between the highest and lowest temperature reported for the month was 80 degrees, an impressive range.

Grand Chain Dam in southern Illinois reported a high of 79 on November 5. Kewanee reported a low of -1 on November 22.

The above-average temperatures in November were common across the eastern half of the United States, including Illinois and surrounding states, just as the National Weather Service had forecasted. This forecast was driven primarily by the strong El NiƱo occurring in the Pacific Ocean.


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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