Dec 23 | Weekly Climate Review & Weather Forecast
This week’s temperatures ranged from the high teens in northern Illinois to low 30s in southern Illinois, between 2 and 8 degrees below normal. December to date has still been 1 to 3 degrees warmer than normal, although the next few days will definitely shift those statistics. As I read this, wind chill temperatures are in the -20 to -40 degree range from Carbondale to Rockford. I’ll give a more in-depth report of the ongoing winter storm in next week’s summary.
Snowfall totals from the winter storm are still rolling, but are mostly between 1 and 4 inches across the state. The wind makes snowfall measurement a real challenge, so it’s likely some places picked up a bit more than 4 inches. Given temperatures will not get above freezing until next week, snow will grace our presence through Christmas Eve and Day. Otherwise, it was a relatively dry week following very helpful soaking rains earlier. Importantly, the 1-3 inches of rain last week fell on unfrozen soils, soaking in and giving us a shot of soil moisture ahead of the cold and snow. We saw great improvement in deeper layer soil moisture from the rain, and in response the Drought Monitor improved drought conditions across the state.
Looking ahead, the extreme cold looks to exit almost as quickly as it entered. Temperatures will remain in the single digits and teens through Sunday, then increase dramatically next week. It’s likely many places that are currently in the -5 to -10 degree range will see the 50s by next weekend. While the next 7-days look to be relatively dry, with forecasted totals less than half an inch statewide, outlooks for the first week of January are leaning to likely wetter than normal, with very large changes of above normal temperatures to kick off the new year.