CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—The statewide average temperature for March was 54.9 degrees—13.8 degrees above normal—making March 2012 a record-setting month, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey.
The warmest temperature reported in the state was at Chicago O’Hare on March 21, with 87 degrees. The coldest temperature reported was in Monmouth, Ill., on March 5, with 5 degrees.
The three-month winter period from January to March 2012 was another record-breaker; it was the warmest of that period on record since 1895. The statewide average temperature from January to March was 40.9 degrees, 9.1 degrees above normal.
The statewide average precipitation was 2.11 inches, 1.1 inches below normal or 66 percent of normal. Precipitation was below normal across much of the state. However, there were a few wet spots, with Fairview Heights reporting the highest monthly total of 4.88 inches of precipitation.
Despite the warm temperatures, there was some snow in March. The largest monthly total was reported at Roscoe, Ill. with 5.6 inches of snow.
The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.