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Warm, dry growing season ahead

Chuck Collins speaks at the Livingston County Farm Bureau Agronomy Day Wednesday in Pontiac / CIFN photo.

PONTIAC – Slightly above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation can be expected for the upcoming growing season.

That was the prediction of Chuck Collins, a Central Illinois meteorologist with WEEK-TV in Peoria during this week’s Livingston County Agronomy Day at Pontiac.

“Right now, it doesn’t look like anything extreme one way or another,” Collins said.

The July-September period could see a 10 to 20 percent precipitation deficit, according to Collins. In the short term, we can expect some very cold weather in the area with temperatures struggling to reach the 30s until about Feb. 10.

“It won’t be 32 degrees for a couple of weeks.”

Around three to six inches of total snowfall can be expected between Friday and Monday as some clipper systems move through then temperatures will be back below zero early next week.

Collins believes there is climate change happening but exactly how much is up for debate. Global temperatures have increased since 1880 and Collins says the hottest years for U.S. cities have been in the 2010s.

“We are off the chart now and there’s no indication the temperature is coming back down,” Collins added.

Cold snaps are becoming less severe and the biggest warming has been observed in winter. An increase in nighttime temperatures is also occurring.

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