New All-time Record Low Temperature in Illinois

Mt. Carroll reclaims the title for the record minimum temperature in Illinois

From the Illinois State Climatologist:

Champaign, Ill., 3/6/19: An Arctic outbreak in late January 2019 led to widespread bitterly cold temperatures across much of the Upper Midwest, including Illinois. On the morning of Jan. 31, the cooperative weather observer at Mt. Carroll, located in Carroll County, reported a temperature of -38 degrees.

After a comprehensive review, the State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) unanimously voted to validate the -38 degrees reading as the new official state record minimum temperature. This committee ensures that the observation is meteorologically plausible, is within a range that the reporting instrument can detect, and that the instrument is in proper working order.

Brian Kerschner at the Illinois State Water Survey represented the Illinois State Climatologist Office as a member of the SCEC, along with delegates from the National Weather Service (NWS), the Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC), and the National Center for Environment Information (NCEI).

The previous minimum temperature record for Illinois was -36 degrees set in Congerville, located in Woodford County, on Jan. 5, 1999. The coldest temperature prior to the Congerville record, -35 degrees, was also set at Mt. Carroll in January 1930, and was later tied with Elizabeth in February 1996.

The Mt. Carroll station is a traditional daily observing station located in northwestern Illinois. It has been in service, with minor interruptions, since 1895, and has been observing temperatures since 1897. It is operated by the City of Mt. Carroll and attended by staff at the city’s water treatment plant.

You can view the final report on the NCEI website here: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/reports

A complete list of current state records can be found here:
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/records/IL

Mt. Carroll coop weather observation site
Feb. 1, 2019.
Photo: NWS Quad Cities WFO

103 thoughts on “New All-time Record Low Temperature in Illinois

    • Sure is. Mount Carroll [the town name] has an elevation of 810 feet. It’s a skiers paradise!

      Regards,
      Bob

        • Well, not much of a mount, Charles Mound is the highest elevation in Illinois at 1,235 feet. It’s not in Mt. Carroll, but its in the northwest corner of the state. On a lark I hiked it with my brothers many years ago. From its ‘lofty peak’ you can see as far as the visibility will permit.
          The central Midwest is very flat. In Chicago, from the observation deck in the Sears Tower (or whatever they’ve renamed it) you can see Minnesota (weather permitting).

          • Nope, I’ve been there several times, and while the weather would not permit it is clearly shown by the signage where to look to see Minnesota.
            It’s only about 200 miles from Chicago to the southeast corner of Minnesota, and you are 1450 ft up.

          • Well, 1235 feet is not high enough to see 200 miles. Neither is 1450 feet.

            As a very rough approximate calculation the distance to the horizon in miles is the square root of the height of the observer in feet. If you do a google search for
            horizon distance at 10000 feet
            …you will see that it’s only about 122 miles

            If you are at 1000 feet, the horizon is about 12.2 miles away. Heights and distance are additive: Two observers both at 1000 feet could theoretically see each other 24.4 miles apart. Two observers both at 10000 feet could theoretically see each other 244 miles apart.

          • Duh, my mistake – if you are 100 feet high (not 1000) the horizon is about 12.2 miles away. If you are 1000 feet high it’s 1.22 * 31.62 or a little over 38 miles away.

  1. I would have thought that all of the concrete and water would keep the area a little warm, afraid not!

  2. These sorts of extreme arctic outbreaks will become more common as climate change worsens, along with more extended, and extreme heatwaves.
    /extremesarc

    • We are only 1 degree warmer is but a mild thaw up out of the Little Ice Age, the coldest era of the past 8,000 years. Sun cycles 24-27 will usher in a new Solar Grand Minimum and cooling.

      • Very true Walter. We have already witnessed a decline in temperatures heading into new Solar Grand Minimum. 2016 was the hottest, 2017 was cooler, 2018 was even cooler and 2019 will more than likely be even colder yet. However during this time period and before CO2 levels are increasing. I think this debunks the theory that increasing CO2 levels are the “main” cause of Global Warming (excuse me I mean Climate Change).
        To Bruce Cobb above:
        Of course the brain washing left wing nuts are going to tell you extreme arctic outbreaks will become more common as climate change worsens. They don’t want you to believe the earth is actually cooling due to low Sun Activity. Pretty soon the Climate Scam hoax will be revealed as what it is. They can BS many people for a while that the earth is still warming, but when it continually cools it probably is going to be a hard sell. I’m just waiting for the day they try the BS the same people and tell them the earth is cooling because they implemented great CO2 emissions regulations.

        • Then they, the government owned scientists and regulators, will have to own the next Ice Age. Mass death from cold and starvation will be all their fault. They won’t own that so they will have to come up with some new hobgoblin narrative, otherwise people will be clamoring for their heads on pikes and the burning of more fossil fuel which runs contrary to their true intent.

    • …and if the weather doesn’t change at all, that’s weird, and so that’s a sign of Global Warming as well….

    • Excess CO2 supposedly traps heat. It does not make things colder.

      You are using “magical” thinking if you believe everything bad can be blamed on Global Warming or, as you call it “Climate Change”.

  3. Strong Climate Action Mitigation (SCAM) :

    As AOC said, in order to avoid such extrem climate change next winter, let’s “eat less meat” !

    • Eating meat is about the only thing that will give you enough calories to survive those kinds of temperatures.

        • The common staple food was pemmican, a paste of dried meat and melted fat. Worked well at low altitude but the first mountain climbers in the arctic suffered a bit from the diet. A high sugar diet, like canned fruit works better at high altitude.

      • But…But… according to that Butt’s “Green New Deal”, eating meat is one of the causes of Global Warming making it so cold!

        To be fair, she talked of cows’ farts. Maybe should all eat veal? (Calves) Try to eat them before they fart too much?
        That would be a reduction. 😎

    • I’m trying to help aoc and the “climare change” nitwits by eating the flatulent cows. Just trying to do my part.

  4. The USCG has just extended its ice breaking operation in the St Marys River in anticipation of the opening of the Soo Locks on Match 25. My friends at the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City, who fly support for all the Upper Great Lakes, have told me that this Spring is going to be “interesting.” The ice is nasty due to persistent temps that are well below normal.

    Ah! The little children won’t know what an ice breaker is!

    • Lake Superior was at 95% ice coverage a few days ago, an indication of just how cold this winter has been.

      • We sure won’t hear that reported on the CBC – not while Trudeau is busy yelling, “Climate!” in order to divert attention from the tar-baby of SNC Lavelin.

      • Yes … but it is really thin ice! Like the foundation of ‘science’ supporting CAGW … thin ice.

  5. Last year this time in Washington State we had daffodils in bloom. This year we have a foot of snow on the ground and temps in the twenties F. — and it’s been that way for 5 weeks. Yes, weather is not climate, but as the Chinese saying goes: Every long journey begins with the first small step.

  6. These are exactly the kinds of record low temperatures we would expect with record high temperatures.

  7. We averaged 11ºF in February in Northern Wisconsin, 5ºF below normal for the month. Set a record for snow in Feb at 42.7″ old record was 36.8″.

    One cold snowy winter in the Upper Midwest.

    Insert global warming joke here:

  8. This is passing strange.
    I did not see any news report that Al Gore was going to be in Illinois.
    perhaps I just missed it.

    • Gore was in Illinois in January to endorse Bill Daly for Mayor. It was about the same time the severe cold weather started

  9. High temp here yesterday in west MD was 24F & low was 12F. For March 6, that’s rather astonishing, especially the high temp. Snow on the ground undoubtedly helped to keep it cold.

  10. This is why the climate crowd had to change to name form global warming to climate change

  11. This State needs to generate as many carbon footprint as they possibly can in order to get the damn temperature back up to a decent level or most living beings.

  12. If dairy farmers and cattle ranchers would stop feeding beans to their cows, this wouldn’t be happening. Everybody knows that cow farts are a major cause of global warming and that global warming is the reason for really, really cold winters, as well as wars in the Middle East, chicken pox and Donald Trump’s election.

  13. It was -14 C in Waterloo this morning (6.8 F) with a wind chill of minus 20-something.

    It’s not punny. The ice is deep’n’Crispin even.

    • Crispin – very funny pun! We have been around 32 degrees Celsius in Johannesburg these past few days, with some spectacular electric storms. Everything is green and lush here, helped along by lashings of the magic molecule that we make in our coal-fired power stations. Eskom just got a 9% tariff hike for this year, but the utility is in deep trouble after some serious looting of its assets by those entrusted with keeping the lights on. Funny old joke: what did they use before paraffin lamps in these parts? Electricity man!
      Best wishes. John.

    • Crispin,

      I have been trying to contact you directly but have not found a way to do so. I would like to discuss with you your research/expertise in stoves/heaters. My email is KMNdes at gmail dot com if you are of a mind to enter into a discussion.

      Kevin McNeill

  14. The sun so hot I froze to death, Mann don’t you cry.

    Global warmers, if you live in the northern states, please remember: it will become unbearably hot in the South very soon. Best to stay where you are. We will tough out our warm climate, though, and not become refugees. Don’t forget to remove the snow and ice off of your solar panels and wind turbines.

    Climate skeptics, come on down. The water’s great. We’re in high cotton, thanks to elevated CO2 levels, and other crops are bountiful. The eatin’ is good.

          • Not obvious . I have met people who actually believe that .
            Glad you are not one of them …

          • Glad you straightened that out. I read a letter to the editor a while back in the leftist news rag (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) here complaining that ‘black ice’ was a racist term, I would have been inclined to believe you were serious.

          • to jtom regarding ice:
            In the west, many roads and/or the berms are paved with red cinders from various sources.
            Thus, we have “red ice.” From experience, I can tell you red ice is very dangerous.

            “Clear ice” is a better term.

      • Don’t you know, cotton is white, therefore cotton by nature is racist. Snow is white, so that makes snow racist. And if that’s true, then there’s every incentive for so-called “progressives” to pray to their pagan gods to raise global temperatures in order to rid Gaia Earth of all racist white snow. But unfortunately, this narrative breaks down because snow avalanches tend to kill a disproportionate number of white people on a per capita basis, so snow can’t really be racist. BUT … if we factor in the economic advantages of white people which puts them on avalanche prone slopes during the winter …. .

        Now I’m wondering if Jussie Smolett was wearing any cotton clothing the night he pulled a Tawana Brawly/Sharpton stunt? Heh! Stream of consciousness is the truest form of free speech.

        BTW, I’m just waiting for some pandering, patronizing paternalistic racist on the left to claim we’re racists for mocking their self-serving 24/7 race-hustling, their Cult of Perpetual Grievances-Victimhood-Outrage, and their Church of Climatology.

  15. It’s so cold that the other day Punxatawney Phil sang the old song “I aint nothin’ but a groundhog. Lyin’ all the time.”

  16. Check out how climate communicators are spinning it. They are so desperate they can’t see how inconsistent they are and how ridiculous they sound. It is spring-like in parts of the southeast because it is (meteorological) spring there.

    https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/1103632999948734464

    It may be cold where you are, but it’s already spring across most of the Southeast. The first leaves and blooms are already arriving — more than 20 days early this year in parts of West Virginia. One of the clearest signs of climate change is watching the world warm around us.

    • Is this guy totally nuts…..West Virginia is in the 20’s right now….that’s not spring and not warming

      …now how many people will just take his word for it…and not look it up

      • Is this guy totally nuts…..West Virginia is in the 20’s right now….that’s not spring and not warming

        Whoever the loon is, they’re prb’ly looking outside and seeing daffodils emerging from the ground, just like they always do this time of yr (they are here in west MD), sometimes even before below 0 F temps are finished.

      • It’s part of the southeast according to National Geographic

        2.According to the maps, which states are included in the Southeast region of the United States?

        Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

        I guess the question to you, Jim, is what part of the country do you think West Virginia belongs if it’s not the South East?

        • The East. Historically, W.Va. was identified with PA and NJ, etc. Different organizations use different metrics. Maryland was long identified as the South and even Delaware at one time. I remember watching 1960 election coverage on one network and 1972 election coverage on a different network that put W. Va. in the East with PA, NJ and everyplace else north and east. Colored maps were used back then, just broken down to each region of the U.S. Gallup just released a poll of states a few weeks ago and it put W.Va. in the East. In my opinion though, THIS is the definitive map: https://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/what-770000-tubes-of-saliva-reveal-about-america/

          • Keep in mind though, that’s where people’s ANCESTORS lived, NOT where these people live today. It obviously would be mishmashed or flipped in a lot of places, but also not in some places.

          • I don’t see why ancenstory.com should be any more definitive than any other breakdown by any other organization, such as, for example, the American Association of Geographers

            https://sedaag.org/

            which defines the south east as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

            Basically there doesn’t seem to be a definitive definition of what constitutes the south east.

          • W VA is kind of an oddball because it originally was part of VA, but seceded and joined the north when VA seceded from the Union. So then it was considered in the north.

  17. but but, these things are not meant to be happening after 70 years of humans emitting CO2..

    I mean, kids just won’t know what snow is, according to the CRU

    almost 40 years of junk science, and they just keep kicking the can down the road

    Also Mann and co are the PETA of climate science

  18. And just think, 15 to 20 years ago the Church of Climatology prophesied that within twelve to fifteen years of their prediction that extreme cold in temperate climes and snow would be but a memory. Wrong!

    In all disciplines theory heavily influences interpretation of data which in turn is complicated when past databases are “normalized” or “re-calibrated” to bolster the tenets of current theory. Despite bald-faced lies which claim such is not the case with AGW theory, the climate Chicken Littles have been caught with their metaphorical hands-in-the-cookie-jar far too often already. Such is their desperation to warp facts and observations to “prove” their warming theory.

    It’s also rather interesting that when trying to bolster their own biased view of alleged AGW, they will cite present temporal weather phenomena as “proof” of their extremely flawed climate models but when contrary evidence arises they sanctimoniously reject the counter-evidence as “just weather” or “an outlier” or “statistical noise” blah, blah, blah. Obviously there’s a lot of money, a LOT of money, and their careers riding on the Church of Climatology being right.

    BTW, if humanity is too stupid to overcome a 1.5 degree C rise in global temperatures over the next century, we deserve to go extinct. And I would certainly like to see these Chicken Little hypocrites actually live their own lives like “we’re all going to die in 12 years?” (hat-tip to: Alexandria Occasionally-Cortex). They haven’t to this point because there’s little doubt in my mind that AGW Apostles like Al Gore and most so-called “climate scientists” probably have a carbon footprint multiple orders of magnitude greater than I do.

  19. Is there any climate model that predicts consistent low temperatures on a century plus basis?

  20. It is actually quite comical how the slightly unusual but totally normal can be made into evidence of dangerous climate change.
    So it hasn’t been this cold in about 130 years. That is not even one tick of the geological time clock.

  21. Just like the warmistas tell us ‘It is warming! It is warming! It is warming!” all the time, coolistas tell the inverse, coldest winter evah etc etc.

    I agree: Mt Carroll had its coldest temperature since record begin. That you see when processing the GHCN daily record for Illinois in absolute mode:

    USC00115901 IL MT CARROLL 2019 1 31 -38.9
    USC00111836 IL CONGERVILLE 2NW 1999 1 5 -37.8
    USC00115901 IL MT CARROLL 2019 2 1 -37.8
    USC00112745 IL ELIZABETH 1996 2 3 -37.2
    USC00112745 IL ELIZABETH 2019 1 31 -37.2
    USC00115833 IL MORRISON 2019 1 31 -37.2
    USC00115901 IL MT CARROLL 1930 1 22 -37.2
    USC00112745 IL ELIZABETH 2009 1 16 -36.7
    USC00115079 IL LINCOLN 1927 1 15 -36.7
    USC00110072 IL ALEDO 2019 1 30 -36.1

    The numbers differ a bit from those in the head post: GHCN daily is raw data.

    But the cold wave in IL must have been very short: when you generate the monthly average time series for the station for 1900-2019, you obtain this top 10:

    1977 1 -16.30
    1912 1 -15.63
    1979 1 -15.60
    1982 1 -13.33
    1936 2 -13.28
    1918 1 -12.94
    1963 1 -12.48
    1979 2 -12.31
    1978 1 -12.21
    2015 2 -11.90

    2019 appears at position 37 of 1430.

    The same applies for Illinois’ station average:

    1977 1 -11.78
    1918 1 -10.75
    1979 1 -10.41
    1912 1 -9.78
    1940 1 -9.44
    1978 1 -8.61
    1982 1 -8.23
    1963 1 -8.18
    2000 12 -8.11
    1978 2 -8.05

    Here, 2019 is at position 72.

    *
    It is really cold during the winters in North America. Interesting for me European is that 1963 appears in these top 10 above, because UK and Germany for example had harsh winters in that year too.

    But actually, these two countries experience mildest winters, and I prefer not to tell you about Norway: you wouldn’t believe me.

    No, It’s not the Gulf Stream. The guy is loosing power since a while.
    So what is it then? Don’t ask me.

  22. Now lets see – mmm
    – Over the last 6 months I have read about “record low daily lows”, “record high daily highs”, “record high daily lows”, but not a “record low daily high” Get to work you are missing an opportunity!

    On a serious note: I am no a statistician but have a highly tuned instinct for chance and risk. Correct me if I am wrong.

    The above records all relate to one station among the hundreds that are recorded around the world. Therefore the event of such records (usually within 1 or 2, 10’s of a degree) occurring on a monthly basis would be very common. I would place some money on say – mmmm – 10 records being broken every year. Consider that sister stations are often 10’s of a degree in disagreement in spite of being calibrated.

    Anyone want a game of poker?

    Cheers

    M

  23. Here in Nebraska, the migration of snow geese and sandhill cranes is way behind schedule. The woodpeckers may have arrived a little too early. With a foot of snowpack and below freezing temps, the bugs that are usually out this time of year aren’t. We got another 5″ of that crap my grandkids aren’t supposed to see last night. When I fill my birdfeeder, the birds don’t even wait until I get back in the house to hit it now.

  24. Sorry chaps,
    but I think you have it all wrong
    A friend of mine (a certain Mr E. N Tropy) pointed out very succinctly that the 2 opposing force, (he mentioned another chap called Newton or something like that) of global cooling AND global warming are in play at all times and virtually equal in force, and that just because a slight perturbance allows global warming to manifest itself to a greater degree does not mean that global cooling is not right there at nearly the same level fighting to re-stabilize the order of things.
    In fact he was such a good friend he even sold me an adult sized see-saw to show me how the theory worked and I`ve now joined his new inaction group called ENTropy Reduction UK , easy to join, one just has to sit and do nothing for hours. What could be better ?

    • Not only that, we also have our good friend Mr. N. Thalpy residing currently visiting the Arctic, keeping winters from being as frigid as they were in the ’70s. Every spring he moves to lower latitudes to make things uncomfortable at otherwise pleasant temperatures. He causes all the ruckus that Mr. C. O’too gets the blame for. The climate police are after the wrong dude here.

  25. “New All-time Record Low Temperature in Illinois”

    Is there anything Gerbil Worming can’t do?

  26. I like the long term record at this site, but that looks like a giant open-air tank in the background of the photograph in the post. Is that part of the sewage treatment plant, and is it active? This could bias the recent records unless the tank is as old as the thermometer record.

  27. If AGW causes more polar vortex splits, why aren’t most polar vortex splits in the middle of the summer?
    According to their theory, a warmer Arctic leads to less latitudinal temperature variance, which leads to a weak and unstable jet stream, which leads to polar vortex splits and incursion of polar air into North America.
    But empirically speaking, the jet stream is weaker in the summer and the temperature variance is less in the summer. Yet don’t most polar vortex splits and incursions happen in the winter, during the times of highest temperature variance?
    Maybe I don’t understand.

  28. “Strengthening winds will greatly lower the visibility and cause extensive blowing and drifting snow,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. “During Saturday night to Sunday, the storm will likely be at its strongest with windswept snow from the Dakotas and northern Nebraska to much of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and part of northern Michigan.”

    As the storm progresses into Ontario and Quebec on Sunday, strong northerly and northwesterly winds will continue to pummel the Upper Midwest. While not as cold as recent weeks, temperatures will fall back to below-average levels, with RealFeel® Temperatures dipping into the single digits.

  29. Of the 50 states’ hottest recorded temperatures, fully 36 were set before 1940 (31 still standing, 5 since tied but not exceeded.) How’s that warm yer wigwam?

  30. My experiences with the Il. State Water Service during my career as a state university facility manager were always positive. They never wavered from pure science to make recommendations which sometimes had political consequences in the institutions which contract them. I was proud to post their awards and commendations to our facilities on my office wall. If I could believe anybody in Illinois’ government, it was them.

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