All those days with 60- and 70-degree weather paid off – this February was the warmest February on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature for February was 41.0 degrees, 10.1 degrees above normal. It beat the old record of 40.0 degrees set back in 1998. [Updated March 8 to reflect NCEI report]
It was dry too. The statewide average precipitation for February was 0.7 inches, 1.36 inches below normal and the 9th driest February on record.
Statewide records go back to 1895.
High-resolution radar/rain gauge product showing amounts and departure from normal. Precipitation was near normal in the northern half of the state but below normal in the southern half. For many places, February is the driest month of the year. We don’t notice it because the water demand is low and most of the precipitation falls as snow so it feels like a bigger deal than it really is.
It was warm across the state. Many areas regularly reached into the 60s and 70s, especially in the second half of the month.
When you have the warmest February on record, you can’t expect much snow. And what snow you do get does not stick around. Snowfall was below normal across the state but was especially notable for its absence in the Chicago area. Chicago O’Hare Airport reported only a trace of snow for the month. A “trace” means snow was spotted but it was too light to be measured with a ruler.