CHAMPAIGN — Sunday's 11.5-inch snowfall doubled the amount of snow Champaign-Urbana has seen this year and makes this March the third-snowiest in local weather history.
Up to Sunday, Champaign-Urbana had received 11.4 inches of snow since Dec. 1, far below the seasonal average of 23.2 inches.
But in one day, the seasonal total for the period since Dec. 1 rose to 22.9 inches, just below the average (since 1981) of 23.2 inches.
And with 16.1 inches so far, this month now ranks No. 3 on the list of all-time snowiest Marches in local weather history, trailing March 1906 (32 inches) and March 1960 (20.9 inches), according to state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey.
Normally, about 2.6 inches of snow falls on Champaign-Urbana in March.
Sunday was, by far, the snowiest March 24 in local weather history, surpassing the 6 inches that fell on the date in 1930.
But it wasn't the biggest late-season snowstorm in local history. On March 20, 1906, Champaign-Urbana was blanketed with 14 inches of snow, Angel said.
Coincidentally, 100 years earlier Champaign-Urbana, along with much of Indiana and Ohio, was hit with major flooding. Champaign-Urbana reported 5.18 inches of rain during a four-day period.
As deep as the snow was in Champaign-Urbana this week, other areas of central Illinois got even more. According to the National Weather Service, Springfield officially got 17 inches of snow Sunday. Unofficially, Lebanon received 14.9 inches, Hllsboro had 14.3, Tuscola got 13 and Jerseyville got 12.
Lesser amounts were reported in Danville (10.5 inches) Paxton (10.0), Windsor (9.0), Effingham (7.0), Normal and Farmer City (6.0), Peoria (4.6), St. Anne (3.2) and Lawrenceville (2.0).
As wintry as the weather has been, the National Weather Service forecasts calls for significant improvement in the week ahead. By Thursday, sunny skies will prevail with highs around 45 degrees. By Easter Sunday, the forecast is for mostly cloudy, a chance of rain and highs around 52 degrees.
But the longer range, 8- to 14-day forecast calls for below normal temperatures in the eastern two-thirds of the country, along with above average chances of precipitation in Illinois.