Snowy December for much of Central Illinois

Several snow producing systems have affected an area from Minnesota and Iowa, southeast across central and northern Illinois this month.  This has resulted in well above normal snowfall for several cities in central Illinois, with some now ranking in their top 5 snowiest months on record. 

Peoria, IL is up to 19.2 inches of snow so far this month, making it the 5th snowiest month on record and 3rd snowiest December on record. Normal December snowfall is 6.6 inches.  Listed below are the top 10 snowiest months on record in Peoria.  Snowfall records began in 1893.

1.  26.5 inches  Feb 1900
2.  24.7 inches  Jan 1979
3.  21.7 inches  Dec 1977
4.  21.0 inches  Dec 2000
5.  19.2 inches  Dec 2010 *
6.  18.9 inches  Dec 1973
7.  18.3 inches  Feb 2010
8.  18.2 inches  Mar 1926
9.  18.1 inches  Jan 1999
10. 18.0 inches Dec 1909 & Jan 1987

Peoria Monthly Snowfall Records...

Urbana, IL is up to 20.4 inches of snow this month, setting their snowiest December on record, and 5th snowiest month on record.  Normal December snowfall is 5.1 inches.  Listed below are the top 10 snowiest months in Champaign-Urbana.  Snowfall records began in 1903. 

1.  32.0 inches Mar 1906 
2.  28.3 inches  Jan 1979
3.  22.2 inches  Jan 1982
4.  20.9 inches  Mar 1960
5.  20.4 inches  Dec 2010 *
6.  20.2 inches  Jan 1987
7.  20.0 inches  Jan 2007
8.  19.1 inches  Dec 1983
9.  18.8 inches  Jan 1977
10. 18.8 inches Jan 1999

Bloomington-Normal, IL is up to 18.1" which is tied for the 9th snowiest month on record and 2nd snowiest December on record.  Normal December snowfall is 5.2 inches.  Listed below are the top 10 snowiest months for Bloomington-Normal.  Snowfall records began in 1893.

1.  27.5 inches  Feb 1900
2.  26.2 inches  Jan 1918
3.  25.9 inches  Mar 1960
4.  24.6 inches  Jan 1979
5.  22.9 inches  Jan 1939
6.  22.0 inches  Feb 2007
7.  20.9 inches  Dec 1973
8.  18.9 inches  Jan 1987
9.  18.1 inches  Dec 2000 & Dec 2010 *
10.17.8 inches  Feb 1960

Here are snowfall amounts so far this month across central Illinois with the highest amounts from I-74 north...

26.8 inches... Sidell (Vermilion County)   2nd snowiest month, records began 1946
23.6 inches... Roanoke (Woodford County)  Snowiest month, records began 2001
23.2 inches... Ogden (Champaign County)  Snowiest month, records began 2001
23.0 inches... Chenoa (McLean County)  2nd snowiest month, records began 1947
21.4 inches... Bradford (Stark County)  2nd snowiest month, records began 1980
20.4 inches... Urbana (Champaign County)  5th snowiest month, records began 1903
19.2 inches... Peoria (Peoria County)  5th snowiest month, records began 1893
19.0 inches... Rantoul (Champaign County)  Tied 2nd snowiest month, records began 1965
18.1 inches... Normal (McLean County)  Tied 9th snowiest month, records began 1893 
17.9 inches... Hoopeston (Vermilion County)  9th snowiest month, records began 1902
17.6 inches... Altona (Knox County)  3rd snowiest month, records began 2004
14.8 inches... Minonk (Woodford County)  21st snowiest month, records began 1895
14.6 inches... Morton (Tazewell County)  4th snowiest month, records began 1997
14.2 inches... Mackinaw (Tazewell County)  11th snowiest month, records began 1940
14.2 inches... Danville (Vermilion County)  18th snowiest month, records began 1895
14.1 inches... Farmer City (DeWitt County)  10th snowiest month, records began 1962
12.9 inches... Congerville (Woodford County)  5th snowiest month, records began 1990
11.2 inches... Newman (Douglas County)  8th snowiest month, records began 1990
10.6 inches... St David (Fulton County)  8th snowiest month, records began 2004
10.1 inches... Clinton (DeWitt County)  31st snowiest month, records began 1910
9.5 inches... Paris (Edgar County)
9.2 inches... Lincoln (Logan County)
8.5 inches... Tuscola (Douglas County)
8.5 inches... Havana (Mason County)
8.4 inches... Lawrenceville (Lawrence County)
8.2 inches... Beecher City (Effingham County)
7.9 inches... Springfield (Sangamon County)
7.7 inches... Mount Pulaski (Logan County)
7.6 inches... Stanford (McLean County)
7.5 inches... Lovington (Moultrie County)
7.3 inches... Jacksonville (Morgan County)
7.3 inches... Moweaqua (Macon County)
7.1 inches... Philo (Champaign County)
6.9 inches... Sherman (Sangamon County)
6.7 inches... Charleston (Coles County)
6.2 inches... Mattoon (Coles County)
6.0 inches... Clay City (Clay County)
5.5 inches... Palestine (Crawford County)
5.4 inches... Effingham (Effingham County)
5.4 inches... Morrisonville (Christian County)
5.3 inches... Beardstown (Cass County)
5.2 inches... Rushville (Schuyler County)
5.2 inches... Olney (Richland County)
5.0 inches... Flora (Clay County)
5.0 inches... Hutsonville (Crawford County)
4.9 inches... Neoga (Cumberland County)
4.7 inches... Robinson (Crawford County)
4.6 inches... Winchester (Scott County)
4.5 inches... Pana (Christian County)

The maps below, courtesy of NOAA MRCC, show Dec 2010 snowfall across Illinois with as much as 20-30 inches from I-74 north with 30 inches near Galena in the northwest tip of Illinois, 28.5 inches in Streator, 26.8 inches in Sidell (Vermilion County), 23.6 inches in Roanoke (Woodford County), 21.4 inches in Bradford (Stark County), 20.4 inches in Urbana and 19.2 inches in Peoria. There are also maps showing the monthly precipitation and temperature and percent of normal. Temperatures ranged from 5 to 9 degrees colder than normal across central Illinois during December 2010 with the coldest temperatures over the deeper snow cover from I-74 north.  Lincoln, IL had the 9th coldest December on record with an average monthly temperature of 23.3 degrees. 

There is finally a graphic showing the total precipitation across Illinois during 2010 with the state averaging 40.32 inches or 1.09 inches above normal. This was about 10 inches less than the 50.46 inches in 2008 and 51.02 inches in 2009 per IL State Climatologist Jim Angel.  Precipitation amounts ranged from 48-54 inches in west central Illinois to 33-36 inches in Livingston and northern McLean counties and far southeast Illinois which experienced a drought in the summer and fall. 





                        Weather Related Emergency Events in Illinois: December 2010


·         12/3-4/10:  The first snow of the season impacted northern and central Illinois with total accumulations of 5 to 8 inches in Galena, Rockford, Chicago, LaSalle, Bloomington/Normal and Champaign/Urbana.

·         12/12/10: An intense area of low pressure which tracked across the Illinois-Wisconsin border produced blizzard conditions in northern and central Illinois. Snowfall amounts were mainly in the 2-4 inch range, but wind gusts ranging from 45 to 60 mph produced whiteout conditions in much of the region.

·         12/15-16/10: A strong area of low pressure tracking through the Ohio River valley produced a mixture of winter precipitation in Illinois. Snow, ranging from 2 to 5 inches occurred from northwest into central Illinois – while freezing rain produced 0.1 to 0.2 inch of ice in central and southeast Illinois from Springfield to Lawrenceville.

·         12/20-21/10: A low pressure area moving through the upper Midwest resulted in a band of 3 to 6 inches of snow primarily in the northern third of Illinois.

·         12/24-25/10: An area of low pressure tracking through southern Illinois produced a widespread area of snow which covered nearly the entire state. The heaviest snow ranged from 4 to 8 inches along the I-74 corridor from Moline-Peoria-Champaign.

·         12/26/10: Strong north-northeast winds blowing the length of Lake Michigan produced lake effect snow which extended from northeast Illinois into parts of central Illinois. The brunt of the snow was in Lake and northern Cook counties where 6 to 10 inches accumulated.

·         December 2010 weather (Courtesy of the Illinois State Climatologist and the Midwest Regional Climate Center):

Temperatures in December 2010 averaged 5 to 10 degrees below normal for the state of Illinois. The largest departures from normal were in northeast and east central Illinois – from Kankakee through LaSalle to Bloomington and Paris. The coldest stretch of weather was from Dec 12th – 15th when low temperatures dipped into the single digits and below zero in many locations.

Precipitation: Liquid precipitation was near normal in much of northern and central Illinois despite several rounds of heavy snow. Liquid precipitation was 1.50 to 3.00” below normal in the southern third of Illinois.

Snowfall was above normal statewide. Most central and southern Illinois was 2 to 4 inches above normal. Locations along and north of I-74 encountered three heavy snow events, which resulted in snow total being 10 to 15 inches above normal. Some locations experienced record amounts of snowfall (see below for more information).


             December 2010 – among the snowiest months on record: Several snow events in Illinois during December 2010 have contributed to near   record snow totals in parts of the state – especially from Moline through Peoria to Champaign. At Peoria, through the 26th of December, 19.2” of snow was measured. This stands as the 3rd snowiest December and the 5th snowiest month on record (going back to 1893). The only two Decembers with more snow in Peoria were December 2000 with 21.0” and December 1977 with 21.7”.  At Urbana, 20.4” of snow was measured as of December 26th, which is a record for the snowiest December in history (since 1903) breaking the record of 19.1” in December 1983.

Other locations in central Illinois which broke snowfall records include:
Sidell (Vermilion Co.) – 26.8” = 2nd snowiest month ever (since 1946)
Chenoa (McLean Co.) – 23.0” = 2nd snowiest month ever (since 1947)
Bradford (Stark Co.
) – 21.4” = 2nd snowiest month ever (since 1980)


        For additional information check out the Midwest Climate Watch from Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC) and Illinois State Climatologist. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.