Mother Nature: A record-setter

January 2014 was one of the coldest on record

Published: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 12:50 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 12:53 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — As if Mother Nature hasn’t given Bureau County and the rest of Illinois enough snow challenges this winter, she’s also made it one of the coldest winters on record, specifically for the month of January.

Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel has announced January 2014 was the eighth coldest January on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature this January was 18.2 degrees, which is 8.1 degrees below the 1981-2010 average of 26.3 degrees.

However in comparison, the coldest January on record was in 1977, with an average temperature of 10.3 degrees, Angel said.

Though there were very few subzero temperatures for the past two winters, this year’s below-zero temperatures were common in January 2014, Angel said. As one prime example, the low temperature at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was at zero or below for 13 days in January. In fact, every day of the month had low temperatures at below freezing in Chicago, he said.

Locally, things weren’t any better.

As recorded at the Princeton Water Treatment Plant, every day in January had low temperatures below freezing (32 degrees), with 12 of those days reaching down to 0 degrees or below. A record low was set in Princeton on Jan. 6, at minus 17 degrees.

Not only was January one of the colder Januarys on record, there was also an above-average snowfall for much of the state, Angel said.

Though the southern portion of Illinois received only 1 to 6 inches in January, most of the rest of the state received in the 10- to 20-inch range of snow, Angel said. Chicago, with its lake-effect snow, reported 33.5 inches of snow in January, making it the third snowiest January on record for the city.

Bureau County received in the range of 10-15 inches, or more in some places, during January.

So far, February is continuing with its snowy and cold patterns.

Perhaps someone needs to talk to Mother Nature.

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