Winter Weather Information (00-01), Illinois State Water Survey

Weather Information

Winter Weather Information (00-01)
Last winter, Illinois saw milder weather conditions due to the effects of El Niño and La Niña. A return to a more "normal" winter is expected this year, with colder temperatures and higher snowfall amounts. Driving could become hazardous if road conditions deteriorate, so be sure to adequately prepare your vehicle before setting out. Motorists should always check on road conditions before traveling during the winter months.

Being prepared for winter driving circumstances could save you time and money, and maybe even your life. The links below provide information that help you deal with winter conditions.

Sources of Information
Current Weather Conditions:
     Illinois Weather - University of Illinois, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.  Click here first, because this site contains useful information such as current Champaign conditions (including heat index), current weather maps, new radar images with national regional and local perspectives, and more. Also, in conjunction with WILL-AM580, the campus-owned radio station, the page contains current Champaign-Urbana forecasts made by the station.
     The Interactive Weather Information Network - National Weather Service.  This site contains notices of active weather warnings for each state in the U.S. You can click on a state to see more detail. Your screen will update itself every 60 seconds with new information, and the site contains hourly weather reports, short term forecasts and more.
     USA Weather - Intellicast.  This site gives weather forecasts by state and by city. The format is both graphical and text-based, so users with slower connections might want to drop in here. You can focus on the Midwest, Illinois, or Champaign, if you wish.
     The Weather Channel  The Weather Channel contains weather information for the entire US. They also contain information on El Niño and La Niña.

Current Road Conditions:
     State-wide: Winter Road Conditions - Illinois Department of Transportation.  IDOT provides winter road information at this site that is updated every hour or so. Primarily, they report the winter road condition of highways in Illinois. The highways are ranked as "Clear of snow and ice," "Patchy," or "Snow or Ice Covered." If you are having trouble deciding whether to travel in Illinois or not, this site may help.
     Chicago area: Highway Congestion & Construction - Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee Priority Corridor partners.  At this site, reports on Chicago-area traffic congestion are displayed. This is not a direct report on winter conditions, but if roads are snow-packed congestion could be bad. This site is useful, because its information is updated every few minutes or so.
Hint: Click on the map edges to see more than just the Central Chicagoland area.
     Phone Numbers: Illinois State Police The phone numbers for all State Police Precincts are listed here. Also listed is the IDOT Hot Line 1-800 number.

The ISWS Library also has a "Winter Weather Resources" link area.

Before you Travel  
Other Winter-Preparedness Links and Information Sources:
     Winter Storms in Illinois - Illinois State Climatologist's Office. How to prepare for winter storms, winter storm facts and a glossary of winter storm terms are among the resources available here. There is also information on El Niño, Climate Data, and much more.
     Operation Ice Pack - Various State of Illinois Organizations. A wealth of information on the latest winter weather in Illinois, including a section on The Blizzard of '99.
     Storm Damage Data - Illinois State Climatologist's Office. At this location, the Illinois State Climatologist's Office provides information about damage caused by severe weather. This information may be helpful if you experience hail damage to your property.
     El Niño and the Midwest - Illinois State Climatologist's Office. Background information on El Niño is the topic here. Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel gives you the low-down on "the boy child" and explains some of the resultant weather patterns. Follow the link to learn more.
     Cold Weather Effects - Illinois State Police. This site contains useful information on frostbite, hypothermia, and wind-chill temperatures.

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