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You're right – it's colder this year

Expert: Temperatures below normal

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 8:30 a.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/
Robert Schwindenhammer of Rock Falls casts into the Rock River on Monday afternoon while fishing at the lower dam. Schwindenhammer doesn't let the cold and snow stop him from getting out, and he caught a few nice walleye the last couple of days.
(Alex T. Paschal/
Ty Henkel, 3, helps his mom, Tiffany, clear the sidewalk Monday afternoon in front of their Dixon home. The little guy pushed the snow back and forth and tossed big snow balls around, often creating more work for mom.

It’s not your imagination: The weather has been much colder than normal this year.

And it’ll probably continue, a meteorologist said Monday. 

“It’s been colder than the 30-year normal,” said Eric Apel, a meteorologist with Washington, Ill.-based Mobile Weather Team Inc. “Some of our highs have been lower than our normal lows. Later this week, it’ll get warmer, but it won’t be for long.”

The weather is locked in a pattern, he said, as shots of cold air from the Arctic have nowhere to go but the Midwest.

“I see that continuing as you look out at the rest of the winter,” Apel said.

The frequent snowfalls – there was another one Monday afternoon – are taxing road departments.

The heads of the Lee and Whiteside county departments say their overtime expenses are higher than they were at this time last year.

Whiteside County Engineer Russ Renner said the county’s budget year just began, so the winter weather hadn’t had much of an effect yet on the finances. 

“Obviously, it’ll depend on how the rest of the year goes,” he said. “At this rate, we’ll use quite a bit of overtime. We’re starting out pretty busy.”

As for agriculture, the snow should help, said Apel, whose firm’s clients include farmers.

“The ground is getting cold. That helps lock in the moisture,” Apel said. “It’s hard to say whether it will be as wet as last spring.”

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