Cold February Wraps Up Cold Winter, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release March 3, 2010
Cold February Wraps Up Cold Winter
Source:   
Contact:   
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, sheppard@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Based on preliminary data in Illinois, the statewide average temperature for February was 25.1 degrees, 5.1 degrees below normal. Snowfall for February was above normal. Amounts ranged from 6 inches in southern Illinois to over 18 inches in the Quad Cities and Chicago areas, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).

The cold February, along with colder-than-normal temperatures in December and January, made this the 19th coldest winter on record. Winters in the late 1970s were still much colder with a virtual tie between the winter of 1977-1978 at 19.6 degrees and the winter of 1978-1979 at 19.9 degrees.

Winter snowfall totals (December—February) ranged from about 45 inches in northeast Illinois to just under 15 inches in southern Illinois. This was 1 to 3 inches above normal for southern Illinois to over 10 inches above normal in northern and western Illinois. Wintertime precipitation, both rainfall and the water content of snow, measured 7.04 inches and was 0.35 inches above normal.

All indications are that soil moisture is above normal across the state. Much of northern and western Illinois still have some snow cover to melt as well. The latest National Weather Service outlook for March calls for an increased chance of below-normal temperatures in the southern two-thirds of Illinois. It also calls for an increased chance of drier-than-normal conditions for the month.

"This has been an unusually cold and snowy winter for Illinois and much of the nation. I think everyone is ready for spring now," concludes Angel.

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

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