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Publication Abstract

Climate Fluctuations in Illinois: 1901-1980 Changnon, Stanley A., Jr., 1984  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS B-68    Full Text Available

Changes in climate directly affect four areas of major activity and concern in Illinois water, energy, agriculture, and transportation. This report presents selected Illinois records for 1901-1980 on a variety of atmospheric conditions that allow assessment of climate fluctuations, climate trends, variability around the trends, and impacts of these changes on the four areas of concern. Documented are changes in statewide and regional precipitation and temperature, plus selected point (station) data. Also presented are changes in other atmospheric conditions including relative humidity, sky cover and sunshine, visibility and related air quality (smoke/haze/dust), severe local storms, and wind speed and direction. The historical records are carefully evaluated as to quality.

Analyses of the data indicate changes in the more recent 20 years (1961-1980 compared with 1901-1960) to wetter and cooler conditions: more rain and snow and fewer droughts; decreases in temperatures especially in summer and winter, with fewer extremely warm days and many more extremely cold days; increases in cloudiness and decreases in sunshine and clear days especially in summer; and increases in wind speeds with more diverse wind directions. All trends are more marked in the extreme seasons of summer and winter than in the transition seasons of spring and fall, although somewhat warmer springs have produced a slightly longer growing season in the recent period. Mixed regional changes are noted in other atmospheric conditions, and no trend is apparent for relative humidity.

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