Week brings snow, more bitter cold
The Union County area was back in a deep freeze following a winter storm which dropped an inch or two of snow on the area.
The forecast from National Weather Service, NWS, office in Paducah called for a low temperature of around 7 degrees in the Union County area for Thursday morning (today).
The low dipped to 12 degrees Wednesday morning, Jan. 12, in Anna.
The high temperature today is expected to be in the mid-20s under a partly sunny sky.
A bit of a "warm up" is expected Friday through Sunday, with temperatures climbing into the 30s and 40s. There's a chance of light snow Saturday night and Sunday.
Cold weather settled in this week after a winter storm dropped about 2 inches of snow on the Union County area.
Official weather observer Dana Cross recorded 1.6 inches of snow in Anna.
Other precipitation in Anna during the past week included a trace of snow and melted precipitation Jan. 7, a trace of snow and .02 of an inch of melted precipitation Jan. 8. The 1.6 inches of snow in Anna measured out to .11 of an inch of melted precipitation.
The snow resulted in the cancellation of classes at Union County schools on Tuesday.
The return of bitter cold weather this week repeated December's weather story in Illinois.
The statewide average temperature for December in Illinois was 24.0 degrees, which was 5.8 degrees below normal.
This ranked as the 12th coldest December on record, according to state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey.
The highest temperature for the month was reported at Carbondale with 65 degrees on Dec. 31.
The lowest temperature for the month was reported at both Stockton and Elizabeth, with 10 degrees below zero on Dec. 14 and 15, respectively.
Snowfall was above normal throughout the state in December and heaviest in a band from northwest into east-central Illinois.
Snowfall totals for December included 20.4 inches in Champaign-Urbana (which experienced the snowiest December on record), 18.1 inches in Bloomington-Normal (which had the second snowiest December on record), and 19.2 inches in Peoria ( which recorded the third snowiest December on record).
Champaign-Urbana beat both Rockford (19.2 inches) and the Chicago O’Hare Airport (16.2 inches) on snowfall totals.
The largest snowfall total reported in the state was 30.0 inches near Galena. Streator reported 28.5 inches.
Even though snowfall was above average in most locations, the average statewide precipitation was only 1.8 inches, 0.9 of an inch below normal.
Precipitation is a combination of rainfall and the water content of any snow.
Last Year One of Driest on Record
During the past week, NWS also reported that based on preliminary data, the annual precipitation total for 2010 was 36.67 inches at Paducah.
This ranked as the fourth driest year at Paducah since official records began in 1949.
The normal annual precipitation is about 48 inches at Paducah.
(Precipitation in Anna during 2010 totalled 40.33 inches.)
The five driest years at Paducah were 27.79 inches in 1963, 35.40 in 1953, 36.36 in 1987, 36.67 in 2010, and 36.75 in 1980.
Data for 1963 is incomplete since rainfall data is missing on seven days that year.
The two biggest rainfall events of 2010 at Paducah were 3.63 inches on May 1-2 and 3.59 inches on Sept. 9-10.
These two events accounted for about one-fifth (19.6 percent) of the precipitation total for the entire year.
Excluding these two rainfall events, the 2010 rainfall total at Paducah would be 29.45.
Severe drought continued to linger into 2011 in parts of Western Kentucky and Southeast Missouri.