Friday Wrapup – Illinois Very Cold and Dry in November

snow-nov21So far, November has been much colder and drier than average. The statewide average temperature is 34.6 degrees, which is 9 degrees below average.

The statewide average precipitation (rainfall + water content of snow) was only 0.6 inches, about a third of the average through this date.

There have been astounding snowfall totals in places like Buffalo, NY, and some significant snowfall in Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, Illinois and most of the surrounding states have had far less snowfall (first map) in November. Many sites in the state had 1 to 2 inches except for a stretch between Quincy and Chicago with less than an inch.

The modest snowfall totals in November so far are not that unusual. Average snowfall totals for the month are generally less than an inch south of I-80 and about 1 to 2 inches north of I-80 (second map).


Flood Risk on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers

Mississippi River at Quincy, IL, on May 26, 2013.
Mississippi River at Quincy, IL, on May 26, 2013.

The heavy rainfall across the Midwest in recent weeks has increased the risk of flooding on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Rainfall totals were highest in western Illinois, northern Missouri, much of Iowa, southeastern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin, and ranged from 6 to 12 inches in the last 30 days. See the MRCC map below.
The National Weather Service produces forecasts of river levels based on current conditions and precipitation over the next 24 hours. At Quincy Lock and Dam, the Mighty Mississippi River is expected to be in “major” flood by sometime Thursday (first graph). See the latest forecast for this site here.
It is a similar story on the lower Illinois River. The current and forecasted river stage at Hardin, IL (second graph) shows that the river will reach “major” flood stage by next Monday. See the latest forecast for this site here. Of course, more rainfall in coming days will change these forecasts.

Mississippi River at Quincy Lock & Dam 21
Illinois River at Hardin