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Publication Abstract

Summary of Weather Conditions at Champaign-Urbana, Illinois Changnon, Stanley A., Jr., 1959  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS B-47    Full Text Available

Champaign-Urbana lies astride a northwest-southeast trending recessional moraine in the generally flat farmlands of east-central Illinois. Physiographically, the area is called the Bloomington Ridged Plain, which is principally the Wisconsin Drift, the moraines and plains of which are the geomorphic features of the present surface.(1) In general, the surface elevation of the moraine underlying Champaign-Urbana averages 50 to 100 feet above the surrounding flat plain.

This area of Illinois has a temperate continental-type climate and is far from the modifying influences of large water bodies. The typical summer is hot and humid with 59 percent of the normal annual precipitation, 36.30 inches, occurring in the warmer half-year. A characteristic winter has occasional cold periods but is not severe. Annual snowfall averages 20.3 inches, but its moisture contribution is only 13 percent of the total winter precipitation.

Maximum temperatures of 90 degrees or higher have occurred as frequently as 56 days in one year (1936), but the average is 26 days per year. Minimum temperatures of zero degrees or lower have been observed in 45 of the years between 1903 and 1956 and occur on an average of seven days per year. However, these temperatures have occurred as often as 19 days in one year (1905, 1936). The average growing season of 181 days lasts from April 22 through October 19 with May 25 being the latest date of freezing temperature recorded and September 16 the earliest date.

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