Snow is coming, but it’s unlikely to be as much as we had 35 years ago. Average snowfall in Illinois ranges from 38 inches up north to less than 14 inches in Southern Illinois. The statewide average, in inches, has typically been in the high teens to the low 20s in recent decades. But the winters of 1978 and 1979 each averaged 44 inches statewide. State climatologist Jim Angel says historically, the period from the 1970s into the early 1980s was really snowy.
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“Based on the limited data from the earlier part of the record, I would say that those winters in the 70s were probably the snowiest that we’ve seen in the historical record, and probably rivaled some of the really snowy winters that we had even in the earlier history of Illinois,” said Angel, who has worked at the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign since 1984. Angel says since the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011, conditions here have been relatively warm and dry, so there hasn’t been much snow.