Thanksgiving Eve Snowstorm
November 24, 2004

Wintry landscape on Thanksgiving morning at the NWS office
 

Surface weather map for Wednesday morning The weather map for Wednesday morning (6 am CST) showed low pressure (29.41 inches) across northeast Arkansas.  This low pressure intensified as it moved northeast during the day, passing near Lawrenceville early in the afternoon with the barometric pressure down to 29.18 inches.  This helped to produce strong winds across central Illinois late morning through the afternoon, especially east of I-55, where some gusts approached 60 mph.
24-hour snowfall ending at 7 am Thanksgiving Day This image shows the 24-hour snowfall ending on Thanksgiving Day at 6 am.  The heaviest snowfall occurred from about I-55 west to the Illinois River valley.  A text listing of snowfall amounts can be found here.  At times, the snow was accompanied by thunderstorms.
Liquid-equivalent precipitation amounts were also high, due to the high moisture content in the snow, plus the rain that fell before the precipitation changed to snow.
Satellite image of snow on the ground This visible satellite image, taken late Thanksgiving morning, shows the area of heavy snow across Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.  Areas south of Decatur and Champaign were largely snow-free. 
Weather map for Thanksgiving morning By Thanksgiving morning, the low pressure center had moved all the way to near Montreal.  The dashed blue line indicates where surface temperatures were below freezing.

Other links:

Peak Wind Gusts across central Illinois:
  • Bismarck:  44 mph
  • Bloomington:  48 mph
  • Champaign Airport:  58 mph
  • Danville:  45 mph
  • Decatur:  59 mph
  • Effingham:  43 mph
  • Lawrenceville Airport:  37 mph
  • Mattoon Airport:  47 mph
  • Ogden:  48 mph
  • Peoria:  39 mph
  • Rantoul:  51 mph
  • Springfield:  45 mph
  • Taylorville:  51 mph
White Thanksgivings in Central Illinois since 1948
(1 inch snow depth or greater around sunrise):

Peoria:

2 inch snow depth... Nov 23, 1950
2 inch snow depth... Nov 26, 1959
1 inch snow depth... Nov 23, 1972
7 inch snow depth... Nov 27, 1975
2 inch snow depth... Nov 27, 1980
4 inch snow depth... Nov 25, 2004

Springfield:

1 inch snow depth... Nov 23, 1950
6 inch snow depth... Nov 27, 1975
1 inch snow depth... Nov 27, 1980
4 inch snow depth... Nov 25, 2004

Lincoln:

1 inch snow depth... Nov 23, 1950
1 inch snow depth... Nov 26, 1959
6 inch snow depth... Nov 27, 1975
4 inch snow depth... Nov 27, 1980
4 inch snow depth... Nov 25, 2004
 


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