Illinois’ unseasonably cold April to continue, affecting farmers

By Alissa Groeninger

Temperatures during the first two weeks of April were 4.5 degrees colder than normal, according to the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS).

Precipitation was 58 percent higher than normal.

Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist for ISWS, said the normal temperature for April is a high of 63 degrees. Today it was 41 degrees. This might be one of the coldest Aprils recorded in Illinois history. Missouri and Indiana have also received a lot of rain this month. States to Illinois’ north, including Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, have not received a lot of rain.

“It’s just kind of been kind of a gloomy April so far,” Angel said.

Angel said the unseasonably cool temperatures and rains will continue for one or two more weeks.

The weather might force people to leave their heat on longer than normal, increasing energy costs.

In addition, the temperatures and rains are preventing farmers from getting into the fields. In a year with normal temperatures farmers in southern Illinois would already have begun working outside. Farmers in northern Illinois would be preparing to start farming soon.

“There’s hardly anyone in the State that’s been in the fields so far,” Angel said.

Northern Illinois was hit hard with rain in March and this precipitation is adding to the problem, he added.

“It’s been very wet across the region,” Angel said.

Angel said the weather could prove problematic for University students in agricultural fields.

“There’s a lot of people that do field experiments,” he said.