Signs point to mild winter

National Weather ServiceThanks to strong El Niño weather conditions, Illinois is expected this year to break its cycle of frigid winters.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Kirk Huettl tells WGIL warm waters in the equatorial pacific will bring mild temperatures this winter to northern states, including Illinois.

“Right now we’re in 40 to 45 percent chance of above normal temperatures this winter from December to February,” Huettle says, “and also a 40 to 45 percent chance of below normal precipitation for much of Illinois.”

The anticipated winter conditions are a continuation of the mild weather we have experienced up to this point.

Huettl says last month was the second warmest September on record for the Galesburg area with temps averaging about 6 degrees warmer than normal.

The first two weeks of October have been about 5 degrees warmer than normal.

That being said, frost is likely tomorrow and Saturday nights as temperatures approach 30 degrees — what Huettl says is “nothing out of the ordinary” for this time of year.

Ultimately, the meteorologist says a dryer, mild fall has made for a “favorable growing year,” particularly in light of complaints about saturated fields in June.

Last winter was the fifth coldest in the area with an average temperature of 22 degrees accompanied by 26 inches of snow.

2013 marked our coldest winter as temperatures averaged around 16 degrees with 50 inches of snow.

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