CHAMPAIGN — After starting the year with one of its worst winters, most of central Illinois closed it with the fewest flurries on record in December.
With no snow Wednesday, Champaign-Urbana and surrounding cities tied a record for the least snow in December — set most recently in 1991 but also in 1986, 1971 and 1912, when there was also only a trace of it in the final month.
Mother nature is attempting to throw a wrench into Christmas Eve travel in East Central Illinois.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday for the following counties: Champaign, Piatt, DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie and Shelby.
CHAMPAIGN — If you're going to be traveling for the holidays, today's a good day to do it. Or Christmas Day.
"We can say with certainty (Wednesday) will be a messy travel day," said Matt Barnes, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln.
CHAMPAIGN — Just two years after experiencing its warmest year on record, Champaign-Urbana seems headed for one of the coldest years in its 126 years of recorded weather history.
NEW 3:15 p.m.:
The wind advisory has been canceled.
A wind advisory has been issued for the following counties until 6 p.m. Monday: Piatt, Champaign, Vermilion, Macon, Moultrie, Douglas, Coles, Edgar and Shelby.
Wind gusts exceeding 40 miles per hour are possible. You should take caution while driving and secure outdoor items so they are not blown away.
A freezing rain advisory has been issued for several counties in East Central Illinois.
For Champaign County, the advisory runs from 9 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday.
For DeWitt, Piatt and Macon counties, the advisory runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday.
For Ford and Iroquois counties, the advisory runs from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
This week's January-like weather couldn't be more of a polar opposite from the warm spring-like conditions at play a year ago when tornadoes swept across the state, including here in East Central Illinois.
Your Halloween costume may need a few extra layers.
That's because the National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for all of East Central Illinois except Ford and Iroquois counties. It's in effect from midnight Friday through 9 a.m. Saturday.
NEW 6:03 Monday:
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for northeastern Coles County and eastern Douglas County until 6:30 p.m. Monday. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Ford and southeastern Iroquois counties until 6:15 p.m. Monday.
— In Monday's paper, Staerkel Planetarium's David Leake advanced this week's lunar eclipse, which could start as early as 3:45 a.m. Wednesday (about the time my News-Gazette hits the stoop). Sounds interesting, I told Parkland College's veteran skywatcher. But let's say I don't want to stay up for the whole thing.