TOP TEN WEATHER EVENTS OF 2005 FOR NORTHERN ILLINOIS
AND NORTHWEST INDIANA

JANUARY 4-6 SNOWSTORM.
            A WINTER STORM BROUGHT 6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW TO NORTH CENTRAL AND
            NORTHEAST ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA. AREAS SOUTH OF THE
            KANKAKEE RIVER RECEIVED UP TO 3/4 INCH OF ICE. SOME OF THE HEAVIER
            SNOW TOTALS INCLUDED 12.3 INCHES AT WHEATON...12 INCHES AT
            OREGON...AND 11.9 INCHES AT GRAYSLAKE. OFFICIALLY 7.8 INCHES FELL
            AT ROCKFORD...AND 9.8 INCHES AT CHICAGOS OHARE AIRPORT.
JANUARY 12 RECORD WARMTH AND THUNDERSTORMS.
            STRONG SOUTHWEST WINDS SENT TEMPERATURES SOARING TO 62 AT CHICAGOS
            OHARE AIRPORT...TYING A RECORD FOR THE DATE. THE BALMY WEATHER WAS
            ACCOMPANIED BY SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
            PRODUCED 60 TO 65 MPH WIND GUSTS AND CAUSED DAMAGE IN SUGAR GROVE IN
            KANE COUNTY. AREAS ALONG AND SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 80 HAD 1 TO 3
            INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH CAUSED FLOODING OF STREAMS...ROADS...AND LOW
            LYING AREAS. THIS HEAVY RAIN...COMBINED WITH THE WATER EQUIVALENT
            FROM THE TWO SNOWSTORMS...CAUSED THE JANUARY PRECIPITATION TOTAL TO
            REACH 4.00 INCHES IN CHICAGO...THE 8TH WETTEST JANUARY ON RECORD.
JANUARY 21-23 SNOWSTORM AND LAKE EFFECT SNOW.
            A SNOWSTORM SIMILAR TO THE ONE THAT OCCURRED EARLIER IN THE MONTH
            BROUGHT ANOTHER 6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW TO NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND
            NORTHWEST INDIANA. LAKE EFFECT PROVIDED ADDITIONAL SNOWFALL TO THE
            LAKESHORE AREAS OF NORTHEAST ILLINOIS AND ALSO TO NORTHWEST INDIANA.
            HEAVIER AMOUNTS INCLUDED 24 INCHES NEAR CROWN POINT INDIANA...15
            INCHES ON THE NORTH SIDE OF CHICAGO...13 INCHES AT
            CARPENTERSVILLE...12.9 INCHES AT MIDWAY AIRPORT AND LAKE VILLA.
            OFFICIALLY AT ROCKFORD THERE WAS 7.8 INCHES...AND AT CHICAGOS OHARE
            AIRPORT THERE WAS 11.0 INCHES.
MARCH THROUGH DECEMBER EXTREME DROUGHT.
            THE DROUGHT WAS THE BIGGEST WEATHER STORY FOR NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOR
            MUCH OF THE YEAR. CHICAGOS RAINFALL WAS BELOW NORMAL FOR NINE
            CONSECUTIVE MONTHS...MARCH THROUGH NOVEMBER. ROCKFORD HAD BELOW
            NORMAL RAINFALL MARCH THROUGH OCTOBER. BY JUNE...MUCH OF NORTHERN
            AND WESTERN ILLINOIS WAS EXPERIENCING SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT. AND
            BY THE END OF SUMMER... THE REGION WAS SUFFERING ONE OF THE WORST
            DROUGHTS ON RECORD. 
HERE ARE SOME SPRING AND SUMMER DROUGHT STATISTICS...
            
  • CHICAGO HAD ITS SEVENTH DRIEST SPRING WITH ONLY 5.00 INCHES OF RAIN...AND ITS THIRD DRIEST SUMMER WITH 5.18 INCHES.
  • CHICAGOS TOTAL PRECIPITATION FOR SPRING AND SUMMER...MARCH THROUGH AUGUST...WAS THE FOURTH DRIEST EVER...11.29 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. IT WAS DRIER THAN 1988 OR THE DUST BOWL SUMMERS OF 1934 AND 1936.
  • CHICAGO HAD ONLY 0.76 INCHES OF RAIN IN JUNE...THE THIRD DRIEST ON RECORD.
  • ROCKFORD HAD 3.92 INCHES OF RAIN IN SPRING...THE THIRD DRIEST EVER...AND 9.00 INCHES IN SUMMER.
  • ROCKFORDS TOTAL PRECIPITATION FOR SPRING AND SUMMER...MARCH THROUGH AUGUST...WAS 10.23 INCHES BELOW NORMAL...AND ALSO THE FOURTH DRIEST ON RECORD.
  • ROCKFORD HAD ONLY 0.43 INCHES OF RAIN IN MARCH...THE THIRD DRIEST ON RECORD.
THE DROUGHT CONTINUED INTO FALL. ROCKFORD HAD ONLY 0.24 INCHES OF
            RAIN IN OCTOBER...THE THIRD DRIEST ON RECORD. BY THE END OF NOVEMBER
            MUCH OF THE AREA HAD RECEIVED ONLY 45 TO 55 PERCENT OF NORMAL
            PRECIPITATION SINCE THE DROUGHT BEGAN IN MARCH. THE COMBINED NINE
            MONTH PERIOD OF SPRING...SUMMER AND FALL WAS THE DRIEST ON RECORD
            FOR BOTH CHICAGO AND ROCKFORD. ACCORDING TO THE ILLINOIS STATE
            CLIMATOLOGIST OFFICE...THE NORTHWEST ILLINOIS AND NORTHEAST
            ILLINOIS CLIMATE DIVISIONS EXPERIENCED THE DRIEST MARCH THROUGH
            NOVEMBER PERIOD ON RECORD.
    CHICAGOS TOTAL PRECIPITATION FOR MARCH THROUGH NOVEMBER WAS 16.54
            INCHES...WHICH WAS 13.92 INCHES BELOW NORMAL.
            ROCKFORDS TOTAL PRECIPITATION FOR MARCH THROUGH NOVEMBER WAS 17.83
            INCHES...WHICH WAS 13.99 INCHES BELOW NORMAL.
            
THE DROUGHT CAUSED SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE CORN CROP...AND TO A
            LESSER EXTENT THE BEAN CROP. DROUGHT ALSO PROMPTED MANY COMMUNITIES
            TO IMPOSE OUTDOOR WATERING BANS OR RESTRICTIONS...AND SOME WELLS
            DRIED UP. STREAMS AT MANY LOCATIONS WERE LESS THAN 25 PERCENT OF
            NORMAL FLOW DURING THE SUMMER AND SOME SET NEW RECORD LOW FLOWS. THE
            VERMILLION RIVER IN PONTIAC REPORTED ZERO FLOW IN SEPTEMBER. LOW
            FLOWS CAUSED PROBLEMS FOR BARGE TRAFFIC AND ALSO FOR RECREATIONAL
            BOATERS. THE DRY WEATHER ALSO CREATED A HIGH FIRE DANGER DURING THE
            SUMMER AND FALL.
            
MARCH 30 HAIL STORMS.
            WITH THE ONGOING SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT...THERE WAS VERY LITTLE
            SEVERE WEATHER IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA DURING
            THE 2005 WARM SEASON. THERE WERE NO TORNADOES. THE BIGGEST SEVERE
            WEATHER EVENT OF THE SEASON OCCURRED ON MARCH 30 WHEN THUNDERSTORMS
            DEVELOPED IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS DUMPING HAIL FROM
            PENNY SIZE TO GOLF BALL SIZE ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS. FROM ABOUT
            400 PM THROUGH 830 PM THERE WERE MORE THAN 90 REPORTS OF LARGE HAIL
            FROM WEATHER SPOTTERS! THIS WAS THE MOST PROLIFIC HAIL EVENT OF THE
            YEAR. THE LARGEST HAIL IN THE CHICAGO AREA WAS THE SIZE OF GOLF
            BALLS IN SOUTHWEST SUBURBAN YORKVILLE...PLAINFIELD...ROMEOVILLE...
            JOLIET...WOODRIDGE...AND WILLOWBROOK.
VERY WARM JUNE.
            BOTH ROCKFORD AND CHICAGO EXPERIENCED THE FIFTH WARMEST JUNE ON
            RECORD. CHICAGOS AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WAS 74.2...WHICH WAS 6.0
            DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. CHICAGO HAD NINE DAYS IN THE 90S INCLUDING THE
            LAST EIGHT DAYS OF THE MONTH. THE TEMPERATURE PEAKED AT 96 ON THE
            24TH. FIVE NIGHTS IN THE LAST WEEK OF THE MONTH ALSO HAD LOWS IN THE
            70S.THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH WAS 74.3 AT ROCKFORD...
            WHICH WAS 5.5 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. ROCKFORD HAD TEN DAYS IN THE 90S
            INCLUDING SEVEN DAYS IN A ROW AT THE END OF THE MONTH. THE HIGHEST
            WAS ALSO 96 ON THE 24TH.
JULY 24 HEAT AND SUBSEQUENT COOL DOWN.
            JULY 24 WAS THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR. THE HIGH TEMPERATURE AT
            CHICAGOS OHARE AND NORTHERLY ISLAND WAS 102...MIDWAY WAS 104 AND
            ROCKFORD WAS 99. THE HEAT INDEX PEAKED AT 107 AT OHARE...106 AT
            NORTHERLY ISLAND AND MIDWAY...AND 105 AT ROCKFORD. JUST A FEW DAYS
            LATER...TEMPERATURES TUMBLED NEARLY 50 DEGREES TO LOWS OF 56 ON THE
            27TH AND 53 ON THE 28TH AT OHARE. LOWS AT ROCKFORD WERE 57 THE 27TH
            AND 56 ON THE 28TH.
VERY WARM AND HUMID EARLY OCTOBER.
            THE FIRST FIVE DAYS OF OCTOBER WERE UNSEASONABLY WARM AND IT ALSO
            BECAME REMARKABLY HUMID. CHICAGO HAD TEMPERATURES IN THE 80S FOUR
            DAYS IN A ROW FROM THE 2ND THROUGH THE 5TH. IT WAS IN THE 80S THE
            FIRST FIVE DAYS OF THE MONTH IN ROCKFORD. EVEN MORE UNUSUAL WAS THE
            HIGH HUMIDITY. THIS CAUSED NEW RECORD WARM MINIMUM TEMPERATURES TO
            BE SET AT CHICAGO ON OCTOBER 3...4...AND 5 AND AT ROCKFORD ON
            OCTOBER 3 AND 4. LOWS WERE IN THE UPPER 60S AND LOWER 70S. THE
            MINIMUM OF 71 AT OHARE ON OCTOBER 4 TIED A RECORD FOR THE WARMEST
            MINIMUM EVER IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER.
WINDY NOVEMBER.
            SEVERAL POWERFUL FALL STORM SYSTEMS BROUGHT STRONG GUSTY WINDS TO
            NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA. WIND GUSTED OVER 50 MPH ON
            THE 13TH AND FROM LATE EVENING OF THE 15TH THROUGH THE MORNING OF
            THE 16TH. HIGH WINDS CAUSED POWER OUTAGES...BROUGHT DOWN TREE
            LIMBS...LIGHT POLES AND SIGNS...AND CAUSED MINOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.
            THE MOST SEVERE DAMAGE WAS TO A HOUSING COMPLEX ON SOUTH WELLS
            STREET IN CHICAGO ON THE EVENING OF THE 15TH. PART OF A ROOF WAS
            TORN OFF INJURING A TEENAGE BOY AND A MAN. ON THE 13TH 130 THOUSAND
            CUSTOMERS LOST POWER IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS. PEAK WIND GUSTS ON THE
            13TH INCLUDED 51 MPH AT ROCKFORD...49 MPH AT OHARE...47 MPH AT
            MIDWAY...AND 53 MPH AT WEST CHICAGO. ON THE 15TH AND 16TH...PEAK
            GUSTS INCLUDED 46 MPH AT OHARE...51 MPH AT MIDWAY AND 39 MPH AT
            ROCKFORD. ANOTHER SLIGHTLY LESS INTENSE STORM ON THE 24TH BROUGHT
            WINDS GUSTS OF AROUND 40 MPH.  THE POWERFUL STORM SYSTEMS THAT
            BROUGHT THE HIGH WINDS TO NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND INDIANA ALSO SPAWNED
            VIOLENT TORNADOES ACROSS SOUTH AND CENTRAL INDIANA...WESTERN
            KENTUCKY...SOUTHERN ILLINOIS...AND IOWA.
COLD AND SNOWY DECEMBER.
            A COLD SPELL BEGAN NOVEMBER 30. TEMPERATURES REMAINED BELOW FREEZING
            AT ROCKFORD AND CHICAGO THROUGH DECEMBER 9...THE LONGEST
            SUB-FREEZING START TO A DECEMBER ON RECORD. THE COLDEST AIR OF THIS
            STRETCH HIT ON DECEMBER 5...6...AND 7 WITH LOWS NEAR ZERO TO 10
            BELOW ZERO ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND HIGHS ONLY IN THE LOW TO MID
            TEENS. THE COLDEST DAY OF THE MONTH WAS DECEMBER 19 WITH LOWS ZERO
            TO 10 BELOW AND HIGHS IN THE SINGLE DIGITS TO LOW TEENS. AT CHICAGO
            TEMPERATURES AVERAGED 10.6 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL FOR THE FIRST 20
            DAYS OF DECEMBER. AT ROCKFORD TEMPERATURES AVERAGED 11.8 DEGREES
            BELOW NORMAL. THE SEASONS FIRST SIGNIFICANT SNOW FELL ON DECEMBER 8.
            SNOW WAS GENERALLY 3 TO 6 INCHES BUT LOCALLY 8 TO 10 INCHES ACROSS
            PART OF SOUTHERN COOK AND NORTHERN WILL COUNTIES. A PLANE OVERRAN
            THE RUNWAY AT MIDWAY AIRPORT DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE
            SNOWSTORM...CAUSING ONE FATALITY.
ALLSOPP
            

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