March 2012: The Warmest on Record for Illinois
The warmer-than-usual winter left nine Midwestern states with their warmest March on record, and in Illinois the first three months of the year were the warmest three winter months since 1895.
The Midwestern Regional Climate Center and Illinois Water Survey in Champaign on Tuesday said that Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin all had record warmth for March.
Average temperatures in the states ranged from 57.6 degrees in Kentucky to 42 degrees in Minnesota. Previous records were set in either the mid-1940s or 1910 in all nine states.
Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says average temperature for the state last month was 54.9 degrees, 13.8 degrees above normal. The warmest temperature reported in the state was at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on March 21 with 87 degrees. The coldest reported was in Monmouth on March 5 with 5 degrees.
The Water Survey says the statewide average temperature across Illinois from the January-to-March period was 40.9 degrees. That's more than nine degrees above normal.