Illinois had cold, dry December but warm 2016 overall

Illinois had cold, dry December but warm 2016 overall (file photo)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois climate experts say the state had a dry and cold month of December to end a year that was the fifth warmest on record.

Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel says the statewide average temperature of 28.6 degrees was 1.3 degrees below normal during December and precipitation was 1.28 inches below normal.

Climate experts say only northern Illinois received above-normal snowfall and the largest monthly snowfall was in Bull Valley in northern Illinois, where there were 24.3 inches of snow.

Overall during 2016 Illinois had above-normal temperatures during ten months last year and eight months had below-normal precipitation. Climate experts say the year would have been dry except for record rains during July and August. Western Illinois had precipitation that was several inches below normal for the year.

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