The staff at the National weather service office in Lincoln, Illinois voted on the central Illinois top 10 weather stories of 2008, and here are the results.

Central Illinois Top 10 Weather Stories of 2008

1.  Jun 6 Severe Weather & Flash Flooding  
Between 3 and 7 inches of rain fell across southeast Illinois with as much as 9.10 inches in parts of Clark County.  Record flooding was observed at Ste Marie and Lawrenceville on the Embarass River where multiple levees failed.

2.  Dec 18-19 Ice Storm  

Widespread freezing rain fell across central Illinois as far south as I-70 Thursday night and Friday morning Dec 18-19 with a quarter to three quarter inches of ice coating the landscape north of I-72.  Numerous ice laden tree branches fell down on power lines causing numerous power outages north of Lincoln.  Wind gusts up to 40 mph on Sunday Dec 21 caused more ice covered tree branches to fall on power lines causing more power outages around Peoria as wind chills reached 25 to 30 below zero. More freezing rain fell just 5 days later on Dec 23-24 adding to the layer of ice across central Illinois.

3.  Remnants Hurricane Gustav Sep 3-4 & Hurricane Ike Sep 12-14  

Two large hurricanes struck the LA and TX coasts and spread heavy rains of several inches up across Illinois just 10 days apart with some areas getting a foot of rain from these two tropical systems.  This caused widespread flooding across Illinois north of I-70.

Heavy Rains from Remnants of Hurricane Gustav Sep 3-4...

Heavy Rains from Remnants of Hurricane Ike Sep 12-14...

4.  Jan 30 - Feb 1 Snowstorm  

Between 8 and 12 inches of snow fell along the I-55 corridor of central Illinois Thursday night Jan 30 - Feb 1.   As much as 6 inches of snow fell as far northwest as the Illinois river and as far southeast as a Danville to Shelbyville line. 

5.  2008 Wettest Year

Six cities in central Illinois had their wettest year on record including Hutsonville (61.76"), Lincoln (56.25"), Tuscola (55.13"), Moweaqua (52.77"), Beecher City (52.29") and Mount Pulaski (51.51").  Ten other cities landed in the top 5 for wettest years on record.

6.  Jan 7-8 Severe Weather & Flooding

A severe squall line moved east across central Illinois late Monday afternoon into Monday evening spawning several severe weather reports including an EF1 tornado near Mackinaw packing winds of 100 mph.  Showers and thunderstorms continued Monday night across central Illinois with Lincoln measured nearly 5 inches in 12 hours.  Unseasonably mild spring like weather prevailed with Springfield setting an all time warm Jan low of 57F on Jan 7.

7.  Jan 29 Flash Freeze

Temperatures in the 50s at noon on Tuesday Feb 29 dropped as much as 40 to 50F in 6 hours Tuesday afternoon from Peoria southwest to St Louis.

8.  Dec 27 Severe Squall Line & Flooding

A powerful cold front produced a severe squall line that raced east at 60 to 70 mph across central and southeast Illinois during the day on Saturday Dec 27.  There were three dozen wind damage reports across the area.  Widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches created some flash flooding and significant rises on rivers.  Record high of 69F set in Lincoln before the squall went through during the lunch hour on that Saturday.

9.  May 30 Severe Weather

A major severe weather event unfolded across central Illinois on Friday afternoon/evening May 30 including an EF1 tornado in Waverly packing winds of 105 mph.

10.  Nov 30 - Dec 1 Winter Storm

Between 5 and 8 inches of snow fell over parts of Tazewell, Woodford and McLean counties Sunday night and Monday Nov 30 - Dec 1, with 7.5 inches of snow in Bloomington.  

Honorable Mention...

Apr 18 5.2M Earthquake Mount Carmel, IL

Though not a weather story, the 5.2 magnitude earthquake near Mount Carmel in southeast Illinois around 4:30 am on Friday Apr 18 woke up many people across central and southeast Illinois with property damage in Lawrence county.  A 4.6 magnitude aftershock around 10:15 am Friday morning was also felt by many people.  This was tied as the 3rd strongest earthquake in Illinois since the 1800s.

Here are a few weather stories in 2008 that just missed the top 10 list...

11.  Aug 4 High Heat & Humidity, Springfield record dewpoint 84F

12.  Jul 21 Double Rounds of Severe Weather

13.  Jun 2-4 Severe Weather Events

14.  Winter 2007-08 Central IL in Top 10 Wettest...

15.  May 11 Mother's Day High Winds...

16.  Jun 15 Father's Day Severe Weather

17. F
eb 5-6 Heavy Rainfall & Flooding

18.  Mar 17-19 Heavy Rainfall & Flooding is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.