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Chicago basks in record warm November

West Hansen, of Chicago kite surfs in Lake Michigan near North and Zoo beaches in Racine Nov.17
West Hansen, of Chicago kite surfs in Lake Michigan near North and Zoo beaches in Racine Nov.17
AP Photo

Chicagoans just enjoyed one of  the best Indian Summers in more than a century.

This was the seventh warmest November on record for the state based on data going back to 1895, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey . Preliminary statewide averages show temperature for November was 46.9 degrees,  alittle more than 5 degrees above normal.

The warmest November on record is a tie between 1931 and 2001, both with 49.8 degrees. Parts of northern Illinois reported light snowfall on Thanksgiving Day, the first measureable snowfall of the season. Roscoe, just north of Rockford, reported the highest amount around the state at 1.5 inches.

But Chicago seems to be stalled in a soggy spell.  The January-November precipitation total for this year was 46.2 inches, the third wettest on record. Last January-November was 46.1 inches, the fourth wettest on record. In fact, 2009 is already the tenth wettest year on record, even if no precipitation falls in December.

"It is very unusual to have two back-to-back exceptionally wet years like this,' Angel said.

The statewide precipitation for November was 2.6 inches, 0.7 inches below normal. While rainfall totals of 1.5 to 3 inches were common in far southern and northern Illinois, the heaviest rains of 3 to 4 inches fell across central Illinois. Perry, in west-central Illinois, reported a monthly total of 5.47 inches, the highest in the state.

The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.