2017 sixth warmest year on record in Illinois
Temperatures were above normal during the first three weeks of December 2017 in the region.
Mild conditions gave way to icy cold temperatures in Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky as the final month of 2017.
The National Weather Service office in Paducah reported that the arrival of a cold snap on Christmas Eve kept temperatures below 40 degrees through the end of December.
Records Set in December
Some record low and record cold high temperatures were established during the last week of 2017, including one of the coldest New Year’s Eves on record in the region.
In Paducah, a record cold high temperature of 22 degrees was set on Dec. 27. A record low of 10 was tied on Dec. 28.
Cape Girardeau had a record cold high temperature of 21 on Dec. 27. Another record cold high temperature – 18 degrees – was tied on Dec. 31.
Despite a lack of snow cover, low temperatures dipped into the single digits on many nights.
December was another dry month in the region. Drier than normal conditions were recorded across most of the area.
A few locations, mostly across Western Kentucky, had near normal precipitation during December.
In Paducah, a record for daily precipitation was set on Dec. 22, with 2.06 inches. A similar record also was set in Cape Girardeau, with 1.78 inches of precipitation.
Union County Weather in December
During December in Union County, weather observer Dana Cross recorded a high temperature for the month of 68 degrees on Dec. 4. The low for the month was 7, recorded on Dec. 31.
Precipitation for December totaled 2.64 inches. The most precipitation in a 24-hour period came on Dec. 22, with 1.35 inches. A trace of snow was recorded during the month.
2017 Weather in Union County
Weather observer Dana Cross shared weather statistics for the year 2017 in Union County.
Precipitation for the year totalled 56.8 inches. The county normally receives about 45 inches of precipitation during a year.
Here’s a month-by-month look at the county’s weather for 2017:
January: High of 69 on Jan. 21. Low of 4 on Jan. 7. 2.35 inches of precipitation. Half of an inch of snow was recorded.
February: High of 74 on Feb. 20. Low of 15 on Feb. 4. 1.21 inches of precipitation.
March: High of 79 on March 20. Low of 18 on March 15. 4.14 inches of precipitation. 1 inch of snow.
April: High of 85 on April 29. Low of 37 on April 8. 15.54 inches of precipitation.
May: High of 88 on May 29. Low of 41 on May 6. 6 inches of precipitation.
June: High of 96 on June 13. Low of 52 on June 8. 3.39 inches of precipitation.
July: High of 100 on July 21. Low of 60 on July 30, 31. 6.59 inches of precipitation.
August: High of 95 on Aug. 21. Low of 52 on Aug. 5. 1.76 inches of precipitation.
September: High of 93 on Sept. 20, 21. Low of 42 on Sept. 7. 3.51 inches of precipitation.
October: High of 87 on Oct. 14. Low of 28 on Oct. 31. 5.86 inches of precipitation. The first frost of autumn was recorded on Oct. 16.
November: High of 77 on Nov. 2. Low of 22 on Nov. 23. 3.81 inches of precipitation.
December: High of 68 on Dec. 4. Low of 7 on Dec. 31. 2.64 inches of precipitation. Trace of snow.
Regional Climate Summary for 2017
In taking a look back at 2017, the weather service office in Paducah reported that for the second straight year, “temperatures were well above normal across our region.”
Paducah tied 2016 for the third warmest year on record. Cape Girardeau tied for the seventh warmest year on record.
The only months that experienced below normal temperatures in Paducah were August and December.
As for precipitation, a large portion of the region experienced drier than normal conditions last year.
However, some areas in Ozark Foothills of Missouri, the Pennyrile region of West Kentucky and along the Tennessee border in Kentucky experienced near to above normal precipitation.
In Missouri, this was largely due to excessive spring rainfall – before a drought set in later in the year. For Western Kentucky, the remnants of seveeral tropical systems played a big part.
Cape Girardeau had the fourth driest year on record last year.
During 2017, Paducah had the fourth warmest January on record, the warmest February on record and the warmest April on record.
Cape Girardeau had the fifth warmest January on record, the warmest and fourth driest February on record, the eighth warmest and fifth wettest April on record, the sixth driest July on record, the fourth coldest August on record and the sixth driest September on record.
2017: Sixth Warmest Year on Record in Illinois
2017 was the sixth warmest year on record in Illinois, with a statewide average temperature of 54.3 degrees, or 2 degrees above normal, in spite of the very cold ending to December.
Eight out of the 12 months in 2017 brought above-normal temperatures, according to Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Illinois experienced the warmest February on record, with a statewide average of 41 degrees, 10.1 degrees above normal.
On the other hand, Illinois’ 10th coolest August on record came in 2017, with a temperature of 70.5 degrees, 3.1 degrees below normal.
The statewide average precipitation for the year was 37.65 inches, 2.31 inches below normal, despite dramatic precipitation events that occurred in 2017, such as the heavy rains in Southern Illinois in spring, and in Northern Illinois in July and September.
Illinois received 6.86 inches of rain in April, 3.08 inches above normal, and the fifth wettest April on record.
Still, Illinois experienced its fifth driest September on record, with only 0.82 of an inch, which was 2.41 inches below normal.
Some exceptionally dry areas still exist in Central Illinois, around St. Louis and parts of southeastern Illinois. These will be areas to watch in spring for the 2018 growing season, Angel said.
December 2017 Snow, Temperatures in Illinois
Snowfall for the 2017-2018 winter season started slowly, but with some significant accumulations recorded by the end of December.
Snowfall totals ranged from 6 to 15 inches in the northern half of the state and down to almost zero in far Southern Illinois by Dec. 31.
Cissna Park, in Iroquois County, reported the largest winter snowfall total of 15.5 inches.
Mt. Carroll, in Carroll County, was in second place with 10.8 inches, and Chatsworth in Livingston County, was in third place with 10.5 inches.
The statewide average precipitation total for December in Illinois was 0.86 of an inch, which was 1.83 inches below normal and the eighth driest December on record.
Far Southern Illinois received 1 to 3 inches of precipitation, but the rest of the state received less than an inch.
December temperatures in Illinois were exceptionally mild until Christmas Eve. The cold and warm weather balanced out in December, leaving the statewide average temperature for the month at 28.9 degrees, 1 degree below normal.