CHAMPAIGN — This month is already the runaway winner for warmest March ever in Champaign-Urbana weather history, according to the Illinois State Water Survey.
Through Friday morning, the average mean temperature this month was 54.9 degrees — more than 3 full degrees warmer than the previous record-setter in 1946 — and nearly 17 degrees above normal.
"This month is very interesting because we aren't just breaking the records by a degree or two," said state climatologist Jim Angel. "It's a complete blowout, especially for the high and mean temperatures."
The average high temperature this month is 66.8 degrees (which does not include Friday's unofficial high of 73 degrees). The previous record-setter for average high temperature in March was 62.9 degrees in 1910.
So far in this extraordinarily warm month there have been seven days with highs in the 80s and nine with highs in the 70s. The highest reading was 83 degrees on March 21.
Seven record highs have been set this month and one record high was tied.
The lowest reading this month was 21 degrees on March 5. There have been only seven days this month with readings below freezing; the last was on March 11. The average low this month is 42.5 degrees, a full degree above the old record of 41.3 degrees and far above the normal of 30 degrees.
Precipitation this month has amounted to 1.63 inches, about an inch and a quarter below the normal for March.