What to expect from Champaign-Urbana weather


Austin Yattoni

Foellinger Auditorium in the snow on Dec. 4. While living in the Midwest, it’s important to know what is appropriate to wear during which season, writes brand manager Brooke.

By Alex Greulich, Assistant copy chief

One thing we can’t escape from anywhere is the weather. Wherever someone goes, the weather inevitably follows and sometimes it’s difficult to plan. If you’re coming to Champaign-Urbana for college, it’s best to be prepared for all of the seasons.

Let’s start out with fall. At Illinois, fall is quite mild. We’re a couple hours south of Chicago, which means we don’t get the lake-effect wind or temperatures. The average temperature for fall in the area is around 64 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18 degrees Celsius.

For this type of weather, it’s up to you what you wear and how you go about your day. Wear layers to adapt between walking outside and sitting inside campus buildings. Often, it may be freezing in one class and stifling hot in another. If you live in an apartment or a dorm where you can control the temperature, this is also one of the best seasons just to keep a window open all day. It’s cool outside with low humidity, lots of clear days and eye-catching scenery around campus.

For winter, the tables quickly turn. One minute there’s a warm front and its 60 degrees with sunshine, and the next we’re up to our ankles in snow. The average temperature for winter is 36 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, so it’s important to be prepared. A thick coat, hat, scarf and gloves are all recommended for this type of weather, as well as some solid waterproof boots.

It’s also a good idea to check a weather app and see what the predictions are for the day because while it may be pleasant in the morning, there could be a snowstorm in the afternoon. Also, be careful of wind chill and other weather warnings. The temperature may be fine, but a low wind chill can cause frostbite or hypothermia.

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    Spring, like fall, is mild in its temperature. At 62 degrees Fahrenheit or 17 degrees Celsius, wearing a light jacket and layers works well. The one difference is the amount of rainfall during spring. Depending on the year, rainfall steadily increases from March to July. To put it simply, you’ll need rain boots. And an umbrella. Also, it can be very humid, very wet outside and overcome with airborne allergens like tree and grass pollen. If you’re sensitive to airborne allergens, visit your nearest pharmacy or go to the McKinley Health Center to best determine how to alleviate them.

    When summer rolls around, many of you may have gone home to pursue an internship or spend time with family. However, for those who do intend to stay on campus, prepare for the heat. While being south of Chicago in the winter may be beneficial in terms of temperature, it also makes the summers just that much warmer as well. With the average temperature settling around 82.7 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20.2 degrees Celsius, Champaign-Urbana can become a sweltering place to be. Luckily, many places around campus are air conditioned and ready for the summer. Just remember to wear light, loose clothing and stay hydrated throughout the day.

    While it may be counterintuitive to buy a winter jacket or summer pair of shorts now, it’s best to be prepared for all of the seasons on campus, no matter what time of year it actually is. Just remember to check a weather app and be ready every once in awhile for a surprise rainstorm.

    Alex is a junior in LAS
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