Heat, cold, rain, a dash of snow — in other words, October
CHAMPAIGN — In the words of state climatologist Jim Angel, October's weather was "abnormally normal."
The mean temperature for the month was 55 degrees, about 1 degree warmer than the normal average of 53.9 degrees,
And precipitation, after a dry start, finished at 3.59 inches, just above the October average of 3.26 inches. The monthly total was boosted by a 1.38-inch rainfall on Halloween.
While not record-breaking, there were two unusual features to October's weather, said Angel, of the Illinois State Water Survey.
The high temperature of 89 degrees on Oct. 4 was just one degree away from the record high of 90 set in 1922, and just 4 degrees away from the all-time October high of 93 degrees on Oct. 3, 1954.
Also, traces of snow and sleet on Oct. 23, 24 and 25 "were a bit early for us," Angel said, but were not record-breaking. He said Champaign-Urbana experiences at least a trace of snow in October about once every five years. In fact since 1981 the average snowfall for October is a one-tenth of an inch.
Statewide, according to the state water survey, many sites recorded their first measurable snows of the season last month. Mendota, in north central Illinois, had 3.5 inches of snow. Several more sites reported 1 to 2.5 inches of snow.
The largest reported monthly total for precipitation was 6.79 inches at Bourbonnais.
In Champaign-Urbana, October was the first month with above-normal precipitation since June. With two months to go, the year's precipitation deficit is 2.64 inches.
Temperatures statewide were 0.3 degrees below normal with a value of 54.3 degrees. The first half of the month was 5.5 degrees above normal, while the second half was 5.9 degrees below normal.
Most of the state saw temperatures dropping below freezing for the first time this autumn on Oct. 21 and 22. Champaign-Urbana's first below-freezing reading was 29 degrees on Oct. 21.