CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – While Illinoisans in the far northern part of the state experienced freezing temperatures early in the month, the official close to the 2008 growing season at most locations occurred on October 28. Cold Canadian air pushed across the Midwest, producing lows that morning in the mid- to upper 20s across Illinois, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.isws.illinois.edu).
For most locations, this was about one to two weeks behind the normal dates of the first fall frost (32 degrees). Normal dates range from October 7 in northern Illinois, October 14 in central Illinois, and October 21 in southern Illinois.
Statewide precipitation for the month totaled 2.56 inches, 0.35 inches below normal. The statewide average temperature was 54.2 degrees, only 0.4 degrees below normal. Overall, moderate weather conditions were quite favorable for farmers harvesting corn and soybeans.
This year is still on track to being one of the wettest years on record. The January-October precipitation total was 45.3 inches, 12.1 inches above normal, and the second wettest January-October on record. Only 1993 was wetter with 45.5 inches.
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast for November calls for an increased chance of above-normal precipitation and equal chances of above, below, or near-normal temperatures. The three-month November-January period has an increased chance of above-normal temperatures and equal chances of above, below, or near-normal precipitation.
The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.