Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — The first widespread freeze of the season occurred across Central Illinois this past weekend as many areas saw their thermometers drop to 32°, though Peoria managed to stay a few degrees warmer. Now, a series of cold fronts are bringing even cooler temperatures to the area and could leave the area with an early season hard freeze early next week.
A hard freeze is defined as temperatures that drop to or below 28°. So far the only area to see temperatures this cold in Central Illinois have been a small area of Fulton County. That could change by early next week once a strong cold front moves through the area this weekend.
Right now, the coldest air is expected to arrive Monday and Monday night as high pressure builds over Central Illinois. In fact, temperatures could struggle to reach 50° Monday afternoon. The combination of a chilly Canadian airmass, clearing skies, and light winds associated with high pressure could allow temperatures to drop into the upper 20s and lower 30s Monday night. Right now, the current forecast calls for Peoria to drop to 32° but most rural areas will likely drop an additional four or five degrees.
Below are the stats for the average, earliest and latest hard freezes on record for various locations in Central Illinois. Note that many of these locations have incomplete records from varying recording periods.
Average date of first hard freeze (28°)
Earliest hard freeze on record
|Peoria||September 28th, 1942|
|Normal||September 28th, 1942|
|Princeville||September 22nd, 1983|
|Lacon||September 23rd, 1974|
|Peru||September 23rd, 1974|
|Lincoln||October 5th, 2020|
|Chenoa||September 20th, 1956|
|Galesburg||September 28th, 1942|
|Pontiac||September 28th, 1942|
Latest hard freeze on record
|Peoria||December 4th, 1902|
|Normal||November 23rd, 1918|
|Princeville||November 15th, 1970|
|Lacon||November 27th, 2009|
|Peru||November 16th, 1994|
|Lincoln||November 12th, 2016|
|Chenoa||November 21st, 1958|
|Galesburg||November 28th, 1944|
|Pontiac||December 4th, 2009|