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home : local news : local news October 19, 2019

1/5/2007 1:03:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
County enjoys a balmy December

By RANDY HARRISON
Daily News

Folks dreaming of a white Christmas were disappointed as Crawford County was considerably warmer - and greener - during December than in 2005, according to figures supplied by Official Weather Observer Cliff Inboden, Palestine.

The average daytime high during December was almost 46.7 degrees, compared to slightly more than 39.8 degrees a year earlier. The hottest temperature of the month was 63, reported on Dec. 17. That compared to December 2005's high of 55, reported on the 28th.

Most of the month's high temperatures were in the upper 40s to upper 50s and hit 60 or warmer four times. That included New Year's Eve, when the thermometer registered 62. Only on the 8th, when the high was 28, did the temperature fail to rise above freezing.

In 2005, most highs were lower than 40 and the temperature never rose above freezing between Dec. 5 and 10.

The average overnight low last month was almost 30.6, compared to almost 23.7 a year earlier. The coldest temperature of the month was 7 above, reported on Dec. 8. This was still slightly warmer than the low of 2, reported Dec. 10, 2005.

The temperature only dropped into the single digits once during the month and into the teens five times, all in the first half of the month. Last year, the mercury dipped into the single digits three times during December and into the teens eight times.

The warmest December day on record was Dec. 6, 1956. The mercury hit 71 that day. The coldest December temperature ever, 19 below, was recorded on Dec. 22, 1989. It eclipsed the 12 below record set only six days earlier, which in turn had surpassed the 9 below record of Dec. 18, 1951.

Crawford County saw a good deal more rain in December than a year earlier. More than 5.19 inches of rain was reported, with the heaviest precipitation dropping 1.38 inches between Dec. 11 and 13. Another 1.42 inches fell between Dec. 20 and 22.

An occasional flake might have been noticed mixed in with all the rain, but there was no snow accumulation during December. On the other hand, about 7.18 inches of snow fell here during December 2005. The heaviest snow dropped four inches on the county on the 8th. Two inches had already fallen two days earlier and an additional .09 inch fell on Dec. 9.

The white stuff didn't last long and by Christmas Eve, rain was a regular event. It rained small amounts every day from Dec. 24 to 30, with the heaviest rainfall of the month - .96 inch - occurring on Christmas Day. In total, about 1.80 inches of rain was recorded here during the month.

The wettest December ever was in 1957, when Crawford County was soaked by 8.56 inches of rain. Things were dramatically different a year later when only .46 inch fell, making it the driest December in history. Record snowfall for the month, 14.1 inches, was recorded in 1935.

"Based on preliminary data, temperatures of 54 statewide - 1.8 degrees above 30-year norms - made 2006 the ninth warmest year in Illinois since 1895. This was largely the result of a record-setting January last year with an average temperature of 37.9°F, 13.3°F above normal," said State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

"Similar annual average temperatures in recent years occurred in 1998, 1987, 2005 and 1991," Angel added. "Top ranked years remain 1921 with 55.6 degrees and 1931 with 55.3 degrees."

It was the 15th warmest December on record with temperatures 5.4 degrees above normal, Angel pointed out. Temperatures the first nine days were 13 degrees below normal and then 12.9 degrees above normal the last 22 days. December temperature extremes ranged from seven below zero at Dixon, Rochelle, and Havana Dec. 8 to 69 at Grayville Dec. 18.

Statewide precipitation for 2006 was 41.11 inches, 2.32 inches or six percent above normal. While most of the state was wetter than normal last year, areas around Quincy and east of St. Louis were drier than normal. December precipitation, the 13th wettest December on record, averaged 3.67 inches, .98 inches or 37 percent above normal. Claremont reported 2.93 inches, the largest one-day rainfall, Dec. 1. Grand Chain Dam reported 7.12 inches, the largest monthly total. Other than snowfall from the Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 winter storm, no other significant snowfall was reported in Illinois during December.

The National Weather Service outlook for January-March calls for temperatures above normal and precipitation below normal across Illinois. That forecast is driven largely by a moderate El Niño event now present in the Pacific Ocean but expected to diminish gradually in the next few months.

"Even so, we can still expect periods with temperatures and precipitation more typical of the winter season," Angel said.

Crawford County was mostly cool and dry in November. The average November high was 56 degrees, while the average low was more than 36.63. The hottest temperature of the month was 74, reported on Nov. 9 and 10. The coldest reading of the month was 19, reported on the 3rd.

The record high for November is 84, reported Nov. 1, 1950. The record low, one below zero, was set on Nov. 25 that same year.

More than 3.66 inches of rainfall was recorded here during the month. The rainiest day was the 16th, when 1.73 inches was reported. An additional .75 inch fell during the two days previous and .02 fell on Nov. 17. Snow flurries were mixed in with the .83 inch of rain that fell Nov. 30.



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