At the same time, a bitter cold fell on central Illinois and the Midwest. Most of the area spent 36 hours below zero and wind chills pushed 45 degrees below zero at times. This was some of the coldest air in 20 years. Highs on Tuesday bounced back to around 10 and we were back to 20 by Wednesday, the 8th. However, Wednesday had a few flurries and temperatures only bounced back to around 20. As if that wasn't enough snow, more snow arrive for Thursday with high temperatures only around 30. Most of the area saw an inch of snow or less and it wasn't an all day snow.
Finally, a different form or precipitation arrived for Friday. Rainfall blanketed the area and came with temperatures in the lower to middle 40s. Some places saw around 1" of rainfall. However, the weekend brought a warm-up with plenty of melting snow. Sunday, the 12th brought a breezy day and that would be the trend for the rest of the week. Highs on Sunday were also the warmest for the week with most areas getting into the 40s. The other part of Sunday, was a strong southerly wind. The strong winds would change direction, but it would stay strong throughout the week all the way through Friday.
The wind brought good news on Tuesday as highs jumped to the lower 50s and melt most of the snow that fell just a week ago. However, more snow arrived for Tuesday, the 14th. It mixed with rain at times and therefore didn't add up to much. By Tuesday evening parts of the area had a dusting on the ground. Wednesday was a sunny but cold day with highs in the 20s and wind chills in the single digits. The snow would return for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but between the three snowfalls, most of the area was still below 1". Things were cold during this time too, with Friday having highs in the upper teens and Saturday morning having lows in the single digits.
Saturday had another round of light snow that brought some slick roads to central Illinois. Some places saw around 2" of snow. Sunday was better with Sunshine and 30s, and Monday even saw a few 40s. However, the warmer temperatures wouldn't stick around for long.
The night of Monday, the 20th, brought another round of snow with most places seeing around 1 to 2 inches by Tuesday morning. It wasn't just the amount of snow either with most places seeing gusty winds around 30 mph for Tuesday morning. Tuesday was also colder with wind chills as cold as 15 degrees below zero. Throughout the day we saw plenty of sunshine, but temperatures only in the single digits. Wednesday saw more light snow, but temperatures actually made it into the 20s. However, the temperature dropped quickly after that with morning lows at or below zero for Thursday and Friday morning and wind chills down as low as 30 below zero.
The weekend just continued the brutal weather. Friday night through Saturday morning there was around 1 inch of snow, with blowing snow causing an issue in rural areas. Saturday afternoon didn't see any snowfall, but the winds were high enough to cause blowing snow. Saturday night through Sunday also saw a round of snow that brought 1 to 2 inches of snow. Once again, the blowing snow was an issue for most of the area, especially rural areas. Sunday actually saw a warm-up with temperatures in the 40s for most of the area, but things would change in a big way by the end of the night. Winds quickly switched to the west and pick up 40 to 50 mph. This, along with a little bit of snow caused some isolated white outs. Also, temperatures dropped quickly and wind chills were ten below by the end of the night.
Because of the strong winds, Monday, the 27th would start another brutal week. Temperatures hung out in the single digits all day and wind chills were around ten degrees below zero. Tuesday morning started with temperatures as cold as -25. However, Tuesday afternoon brought a bit of a warm-up as we made it to around 10. The warm-up continued into Wednesday with a morning low in the single digits and highs around 30. Most of Thursday was nicer too with highs in the middle to upper 30s and lower 40s.
Thursday night though, Old Man Winter threw a different punch. Another round of snow arrived with just a dusting to up to 1" arriving for most of the area. This stuck around into the last day of the month with a snowy day and several 1" reports of snow.
January ended as the eight coldest January on record for Illinois. The statewide average was 16.7 degrees F, and the coldest on record was 10.3 in January of 1977.
State Climatologist Report
National January Climate Report
Global January Climate Report
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