February 2011 Weather Summary

February 2011 was a very snowy month across central Illinois with many snowfall records set thanks to the blizzard on the first two days of the month.  Check out the summary of the Feb 1-2 Ground Hog Day Blizzard.  Peoria had a daily record snowfall of 11.8 inches on Feb 1 with a storm total of 15 inches from Feb 1-2.  Springfield had a daily record snowfall of 8.6 inches on Feb 1st with a storm total of 11.4 inches Feb 1-2.  Lincoln had a daily record snowfall of 9.7 inches on Feb 1 with a storm total of 12 inches Feb 1-2.  Temperatures in February averaged about a half degree warmer than normal.  Though the Dec 2010 - Feb 2011 winter season averaged 2-4 degrees below normal due to a very cold December and January. 

Peoria, IL had 20.9 inches of snow in February 2011, making it the 2th snowiest February and 5th snowiest month on record. It surpassed the 19.2 inches of snow that fell in December 2010 and the 18.3 inches of snow that fell last February 2010.  Normal February snowfall is 5.6 inches.  Listed below are the top 10 snowiest Februarys and months on record in Peoria.  Snowfall records began in 1893.  Check out Peoria's Winter Season Snowfall Record.

Peoria Snowiest February...

1.  26.5 inches  Feb 1900
2.  20.9 inches  Feb 2011 * 
3.  18.3 inches  Feb 2010
4.  17.0 inches  Feb 2008 
5.  16.5 inches Feb 1893
6.  15.2 inches  Feb 1989
7.  13.9 inches  Feb 1986
8.  13.3 inches  Feb 2007
9.  12.8 inches  Feb 1905, 1975 
10. 12.6 inches Feb 1994

Peoria Snowiest Months...

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.  20.9 inches  Feb 2011 *
6.  19.2 inches  Dec 2010 
7.  18.9 inches  Dec 1973
8.  18.3 inches  Feb 2010
9.  18.2 inches  Mar 1926
10  18.1 inches  Jan 1999 

Peoria Monthly Snowfall Records 

Springfield, IL had 16.5 inches of snow in February, which was their 4th snowiest February on record.  Normal February snowfall is 5.8 inches.  Listed below are the top 10 snowiest February's in Springfield.  Snowfall records began in 1881. 

1.  24.4 inches Feb 1900 
2.  18.4 inches  Feb 1914
3.  17.2 inches  Feb 1908
4.  16.5 inches  Feb 2011 *
5.  16.0 inches Feb 1993

6.  15.3 inches  Feb 1903
7.  15.1 inches  Feb 1986
8.  14.9 inches  Feb 1960
9.  14.2 inches  Feb 1965, 1975 
10. 13.7 inches Feb 1989

Springfield Monthly Snowfall Records

Lincoln, IL had 14.3" of snow in Febuary 2011 which was their 7th snowiest February on record.  Normal February snowfall is 5.0 inches.  Listed below are the top 10 snowiest Februarys for Lincoln.  Snowfall records began in 1905.

1.  24.0 inches  Feb 1914
2.  19.2 inches  Feb 2007
3.  16.8 inches  Feb 1993
4.  16.2 inches  Feb 1986
5.  15.6 inches  Feb 1908
6.  14.5 inches  Feb 1964
7.  14.3 inches  Feb 2011 * 
8.  14.2 inches  Feb 1960
9.  12.4 inches Feb 1963

10 11.4 inches  Feb 1956

Monthly Summaries (Feb 2011)...

Champaign IL Feb 2011 Summary

Decatur IL Feb 2011 Summary

Lawrenceville IL Feb 2011 Summary

Lincoln IL Feb 2011 Summary

Mattoon IL Feb 2011 Summary

Peoria IL Feb 2011 Summary

Springfield IL Feb 2011 Summary

Seasonal Summaries (Dec 2010 - Feb 2011 Winter Season)...

Champaign IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

Decatur IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

Lawrenceville IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

Lincoln IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

Mattoon IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

Peoria IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

Springfield IL 2010-11 Winter Season Summary

For additional information check out the Midwest Climate Watch from Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC) and Illinois State Climatologist.

1) Weather Related Emergency Events: February 1, 2011 – February 26, 2011     


·         2/1-2/11: A major winter storm impacted almost the entire state of Illinois. Record or near record snowfall accumulations ranging from 10 to 18 inches…with isolated 20 inch totals were reported from Calhoun County through Springfield to Iroquois County and points to the north. Wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph created snow drifts more than 7 feet high. Hundreds of motorists were stranded and several interstates, state highways and county roads were closed. The powerful storm also produced 1 to 4 inches of sleet in parts of east central Illinois and ¼ to ¾ inch of ice and widespread power outages – roughly between I-70 and I-64. The Governor issued a disaster declaration nearly 24 hours prior to the onset of the storm.

NWS offices from Lincoln, Romeoville, Quad Cities and St. Louis – along with the Illinois State Climatologist have worked with IEMA and FEMA regarding official snow amounts and the establishment of new record snowfalls. The snowstorm/blizzard was the biggest snowstorm since January 1-3, 1999.

·         2/5/11: A weather disturbance tracked across southern Illinois, which produced 3 to 7 inches of snow south of I-70. The highest totals were around Breese and Mascoutah where 6 to 7 inches was reported.

·         2/24-25/11: A storm system tracking along the Ohio Valley produced moderate amounts of snow in west central Illinois – and heavy rain in southern Illinois. Snowfall totals ranged from 3 to 6 inches in much of central Illinois…with the highest amounts near 7 inches around Quincy. Rainfall totals ranged from 0.75” along I-70 to 2.50” in extreme southern Illinois near I-24.

·         February 2011 weather (Courtesy of the Illinois State Climatologist and the Midwest Regional Climate Center):

Temperatures through February 26th averaged near normal in most of central and southern Illinois, and 1 to 2 degrees below normal in northern Illinois.  The coldest stretch of weather was from the 2nd to the 4th, and the 8th to the 10th when low temperatures dipped into the single digits and below zero in many locations. This was followed by record or near record warmth in the middle of the month.

Precipitation: Liquid precipitation averaged around 0.50” to 1.25” above normal in much of Illinois.

The heavy snow/blizzard of February 1-2 resulted in above normal snowfall for northern and central Illinois. This ranged from 16” above normal in extreme northeast Illinois…to 4-6” above normal in central Illinois. Only extreme southeast Illinois averaged normal to slightly below normal snowfall for the month.

a)      Over 10 Million People Impacted by early February Blizzard (courtesy of Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist):

The February 1-2, 2011, blizzard crossed through much of central and northern Illinois. By overlaying the snowfall map over the 2000 Census data using GIS software, we can estimate the number of people in Illinois affected by the storm. A rule of thumb in winter storms is that economic impacts become significant in areas with 6 inches or more of snow.

About 10.9 million Illinois residents were in areas with 6 inches or more of snow in the February 1-2 storm. Furthermore, about 9.8 million Illinois residents were in areas with 12 inches or more of snow. And about 1.5 million Illinois residents were in areas with 18 inches or more of snow.

b)     Solar Flare Impacts

Monday February 14th, the largest solar flare since December 2006 occurred.  This event disrupted High Frequency (HF) radio communications and prompted a rerouting of air traffic near the poles.  According to the NWS Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), three waves of energy merged into a single G1, or minor, geomagnetic storm. 

For more information about solar activity, visit the NWS Space Weather web page at:




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