State Climatologist Jim Angel on the interesting weather conditions this spring

By Benjamin Cox on April 27, 2018 at 8:56am

This April has been one of the more strange in terms of temperature and precipitation, with snowfall being seen past Easter. Many people in the region are considering the implications that this cold weather could have on soil temperatures and other agriculture variables, as well as the pending harvest in the fall.

State Climatologist Jim Angel joined WLDS’ AM Conversation recently to speak about the oddity of this continuation of winter weather as we move into spring on the calendar.

Angel discusses the high levels of precipitation Illinois received in February and March and why the fact that April has been more dry is not such a bad thing.

Yeah, it’s been a pretty rough spring so far. We’ve had very rough temperatures and more than the usual amount of snowfall in both March and AprilI. I was ready to hang up the winter coat in March, but then that hit and I had to bring it back out. So yeah, it’s been very cold and snowy, and it looks like we’re finally maybe seeing the first light of day as far as a real live spring. We’re starting to see temperatures in the 60s for the highs and lows in the 40s. That’s about what we would normally see for this time of year.”


Angel mentions that people would have to look back nearly 100 years to see the same level of snowfall seen in Illinois in the month of April.

There have been one or two cases where it’s been a little colder and a little more snowy, but it’s been a long time. If you look at Jacksonville, there’s really only been a few years that have had more snow in April than this year. I think you guys had about four inches this time around. You’d have to go back to 1920 to see the kind of snow that we saw this April. I think that was a very snowy time across Illinois was in 1920. Yeah it has been a long time since we’ve seen this kind of weather.”

Angel confidently eases worries of continued winter-like weather in the region, with reference to the shift of the jet stream in the atmosphere and how that will bring weather back to normal.

I think the pattern we’ve seen for the last several weeks is kind of breaking up, and so we’ll see something that’s a little more typical for this time of year… That jet stream, amongst other things, it’s the area where most of the action is as far as storm tracks go, and also it’s kind of the dividing line between the cold air to the north and warmer air to the south, and so that’s going to move north and kind of break up and become more variable. So that will give us a much more spring-like pattern.”

To here more from State Climatologist Jim Angel, find our full AM Conversation with him under the News tab in the Latest Newscasts section at