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2020 brings record moisture and temperatures to parts of Illinois

After a challenging year of weather in 2019, Illinois’ State Climatologist says 2020 has brought its own record-breaking weather surprises.

Trent Ford tells Brownfield moisture has been heavy again this year but has come in a different pattern than 2019.

“There wasn’t a lot of heavy rainfall events in 2019, it was just frequent rainfall, meaning that folks were pushed back as far as being able to get into the field. This year there have been far more heavy precipitation events, however, there have been many more dry days in between.”

He says 41 of Illinois’ 102 counties actually had a wetter January to April this year than in 2019 which includes the wettest January-April on record in Sangamon and Logan counties and the second wettest for Christian and Menard counties with records dating back to 1895.

Looking at temperature, he says 2020 began warmer than average across the state causing an early green up for plants and specialty crops before a late-season freeze the second weekend in May.

“The station in Normal, Illinois recorded a low of 24 degrees on Saturday morning and it looks like that is the lowest minimum temperature ever recorded in Normal in May and that station has been recording temperatures since 1893.”

Ford says the short-term forecast is warmer and very wet for most of the state. He says further into the growing season the odds are slightly elevated for warmer than normal temperatures with a mixed bag for rainfall, but the flood outlook looks good considering the moisture levels farmers saw coming into 2020.

Interview with Trent Ford

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