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Illinois Winter Officially The Third Warmest On Record

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A runner jogs along Chicago's lakefront last month. Illinois's winter was its third warmest on record.
A runner jogs along Chicago's lakefront last month. Illinois's winter was its third warmest on record.

Illinois's mild winter is officially the third warmest on record, as the average temperature has registered about 5 above normal.

The Associated Press reports the average Illinois temperature December through February--which constitutes the meteorological winter-- has been 34.2 degrees. That number is surpassed only by winter 1931-1932 (37.1 degrees) and 1997-1998 and 2001-2002, which tied at 34.5 degrees.

Chicago has also had its warmest winter in 80 years. Snowfall in northern Illinois was down some 75 percent, while snowfall in central and southern Illinois was down 25 to 50 percent, according to the AP.

The warmer winter spells trouble for some. For Illinois farmers, warm soil temperatures means insects -- such as disease-transmitting aphids -- that typically die due to soil deep freezes during more typical winters could survive into spring and threaten their crops, WJBC reports.

Urban entomophobes, beware: Other insects -- such as wasps, beetles, termites and mosquitoes -- may be coming out of hibernation earlier this season.

The weather also means an early onset of spring allergies for some. CBS Chicago further reports that average pollen totals in the area could be on the rise due to the warmer temperatures.

Nevertheless, more mild weather is on the way. The Chicago Weather Center reports that winds shifting to the southwest will bring a 60-degree high and lots of sun to the Chicago area on Tuesday, with warm conditions continuing into Wednesday.

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