Wettest February Ends Third Wettest Winter, Illinois State Water Survey

Press Release

For Immediate Release March 4, 2008
Wettest February Ends Third Wettest Winter
Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220, jimangel@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540, sheppard@uiuc.edu

This past February was the wettest on record in Illinois with statewide records going back to 1895. The 4.48 inches of precipitation was 2.49 inches above average. February is typically one of the driest months of the year, averaging only 1.99 inches, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Record precipitation combined with wetter than average conditions in December and January have made this the third wettest winter on record with 11.32 inches, 4.63 inches above average.

Snowfall totals for February have been impressive as well. Typical amounts totaled from 20 to 30 inches in northern Illinois, 10 to 20 inches in central Illinois, and 4 to 10 inches in southern Illinois. Antioch reported the largest monthly snowfall total of 37.1 inches and the largest seasonal snowfall of 72.4 inches. Seasonal amounts of 50 to 60 inches were common along the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

The statewide average temperature for February was 25.2 degrees, 5.2 degrees below average. The monthly average temperature in February can vary widely from year to year, ranging from 16.9 degrees in 1978 to 39.9 degrees in 1998. As a result, this February ranks as only the 25th coldest since 1895.

"Everyone asks me when spring will get here. While bouts of winter weather are possible through March, especially in northern Illinois, they will become fewer and farther between. Once we get past this week, the National Weather Service forecast indicates that we will see temperatures more typical of this time of year with highs in the 40s and 50s," concludes Angel.

Disclaimer: Data used for all statistics provided herein are from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and are based on preliminary data.

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