When Can Illinois Expect the First Fall Frost?, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release October 23, 2001
Wetter than Average October Weather Slowing Harvest but Replenishing Soil Moisture

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
"October in Illinois is shaping up as one of the wettest since 1895. It is already the 5th wettest with eight days left in the month and rainfall of 5.53 inches for the first 23 days of the month already exceeding 199 percent of the 2.78-inch monthly average for the state," 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.

While wet fields will slow down fall harvest, the widespread rains we've been having should help replenish soil moisture deficits that developed during the more spotty rainfall this past summer says Angel. Cloudier days with 6 percent less sunshine than during a typical October will also slow evaporation of all this moisture.

This is in sharp contrast to last month, which was quite dry and sunnier with 5 percent more sunshine than average across most of the state. The exception to this was northern Illinois, which experienced much wetter and cloudier conditions in September. Mild September temperatures with highs typically in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s also reduced demands placed on furnaces and air conditioners. Humidity was also lower than in summer months so that even temperatures in the 80s felt quite pleasant.

"We have enjoyed some really nice fall weather. But now that we are experiencing cooler temperatures, don't forget to have your heating system serviced so that you're ready for the fall and winter season," reminds Angel.

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