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Hello and thanks for stopping by! The WAND Weather Blog is back -- a place where you can find out more about interesting weather phenomena around central Illinois and even around the country.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and since it's mid-February and still considered the winter season, we typically expect to see some cold and wintry conditions. Across central Illinois, we have had some memorable moments weather wise that have fallen on the Day of Love.
The average temperature for February 14th in Decatur is 40 degrees, with average precipitation amounts of less than 1/10". While those aren't the exact values we see everyday, it is a good ball park.
This year, we are looking to experience temperatures a bit on the milder side, which most celebrators likely prefer. Since the start of weather record keeping in 1893, Decatur has seen 64 Valentine's Days with high temperatures at or above 40 degrees. The warmest temperature on record for February 14th? A balmy 69 degrees set in the year 1954. To put things into perspective, 19% of all Valentine's days since the year 1893 have had temperatures at or above 50 degrees. So while a milder Valentine's Day is probably preferred by most lovers, it is not in the cards for most in central Illinois.
Since this is winter after all, more often than not central Illinois sees winter-like conditions which, climatologically, makes sense for the region on Valentine's Day. The coldest maximum high temperature recorded on February 14th was a frigid -1 degree below zero in 1905. During this same year, the record low was also recorded at a bone chilling -12 degrees below zero. On this same day and year there was a measured snow depth 8 inches on the ground that undoubtedly contributed to the bitter cold temperatures. 84% of the minimum recorded temperatures on Valentine's Day have been at or below 32 degrees.
Surprisingly enough, there haven't been many instances of significant snowfall observed historically on Valentine's Day. 5.0 inches stands as the largest amount measured, which took place only a few years ago in 2014. There have been only 13 years when measurable snowfall fell on the 14th, but a few when a significant amount of snow pack still remained on the ground from snowfall in the days prior to the holiday. The largest observed snow-pack was over two feet (15 inches, officially) in 1979.
While there will be plenty of single folks this Valentine's Day, luckily our temperatures won't be single...digits.
- Jessica Dobson