For much of Illinois, the drought is over. The meteorological winter covers December, January and February, so it’s over and the results are in: Illinois experienced 9.1 inches of precipitation (ran and the moisture content of snow), which is 2.2 inches and 32 percent above normal, according to the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois, which calculated the totals Friday morning.
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“That’s great news as far as the drought recovery goes, because anytime you have above-average precipitation that is additional help in recharging things like soil moisture and stream flows and lake levels,” said state climatologist Jim Angel, who says Illinois south of Interstate 80 is no longer considered to be in a drought. The northern part of the state is, because much of the precipitation fell on frozen soil, so it’ll take some time to see if it produces a soil moisture recovery. Winter temperature in Illinois – 32 degrees F average statewide – was 2.8 degrees warmer than normal.