Climates About Peoria, IL

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Peoria is a city located along the Illinois River in the state of Illinois in the Midwestern United States. With a population of around 115,000 people, it is the largest city along the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County. Peoria has a humid continental climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters.

Peoria’s climate is influenced by its inland location and proximity to the Great Plains. The area lacks a major moderating influence such as mountains or large bodies of water, leading to extreme seasonal variations in temperature.

However, the nearby Illinois River does help regulate temperatures somewhat. Read on to learn more about Peoria’s climate, weather patterns, seasonal variations, and how climate change is impacting the region.

Peoria’s Climate Characteristics

Temperatures

Peoria has hot summers and cold winters. Summer highs average in the 80s°F but frequently surpass 90°F. The hottest months are July and August, where highs reach 90°F on over half the days. However, summer nights are comfortable, with lows in the 60s°F.

Winters are cold and snowy. Highs in January, the coldest month, average in the low 30s°F while lows average in the upper teens. Below zero temperatures occur on several days each winter. The lowest temperature on record is -27°F set in January 1985.

Precipitation

Peoria has wet springs and summers. On average, June is the wettest month with 4.5 inches of rain. Spring and summer also bring frequent thunderstorms, some severe.

Precipitation is lowest in the winter. Snowfall averages 20 inches but totals fluctuate widely year to year. The highest seasonal snowfall total was 57 inches in 1978-79. The deepest snow depth recorded was 22 inches in February 1962.

On average, Peoria gets 38 inches of precipitation annually. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.

Severe Weather

Peoria’s location in the Midwest makes it prone to severe thunderstorms, especially in spring and summer. Damaging straight-line winds, large hail, and tornadoes are hazards.

Tornadoes occur most frequently in the spring. The strongest tornado on record for the Peoria area was an F4 in June 1982 that stayed on the ground for over 30 miles.

Flooding is also an issue, especially along the Illinois River. Significant floods occurred in 1927, 1943, 1957, 1965, 1982, and 2013.

Seasonal Weather Patterns

Peoria’s climate features distinct seasonal weather patterns and events. Here is an overview of typical conditions in each season:

Spring

March through May is Peoria’s windy and unsettled spring season. Temperatures span a wide range as the region transitions from winter to summer.

  • March – March is often cold and snowy to start but becomes milder by month’s end. Highs reach the 40s°F with lows in the 20s°F. Snowfall is common early in the month.
  • April – April brings more mild days with highs in the 60s°F. However, snow showers still occur at times. Overnight frosts remain likely. Severe weather increases towards month’s end.
  • May – May is mild and wet. Highs average in the 70s°F with lows in the 50s°F. Severe thunderstorms are likely and tornado risk reaches its peak.

Summer

June through August is hot, humid summer in Peoria. The peak of summer brings chances for intense thunderstorms.

  • June – June warms up quickly, with highs in the 80s°F. Lows stay in the 60s°F. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are common and severe weather is a concern.
  • July – July is the hottest month. Highs range from 85-90°F and sometimes surpass 100°F. With higher humidity, heat indices exceed 100°F on many days. Overnight lows are in the 70s°F.
  • August – August remains hot and humid. High temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s°F and lows in the upper 60s°F. The frequency of thunderstorms decreases towards month’s end.

Fall

September through November brings comfortable weather but a few cold snaps as winter approaches in Peoria. Autumn foliage peaks in October.

  • September – September maintains warm summer weather initially, with highs in the 80s°F. By late September, temperatures cool off with highs in the 60s-70s°F. Lows range from the 40s°F to 50s°F.
  • October – October brings cooler autumn weather. High temperatures are in the 60s°F while lows drop to the 40s°F. The first freezing temperatures usually occur by the end of the month. Fall foliage peaks in mid October.
  • November – November is cool and dry. High temperatures are in the 40s°F and overnight lows dip below freezing. The first snowfalls often occur late in the month around Thanksgiving.

Winter

December through February is cold and snowy winter in Peoria. Skies are often cloudy and gray.

  • December – December is cold with highs in the 30s°F and lows in the teens and 20s°F. Most days remain below freezing. Light snowfalls accumulate several inches throughout the month.
  • January – January is the coldest month. Bitterly cold Arctic air masses often grip the region. Highs are in the 20s°F with lows in the single digits or teens. Several heavy snowfalls occur.
  • February – February remains cold but begins a gradual warm up. High temperatures average in the low to mid 30s°F and lows in the teens. Snowfall continues especially early in the month.

Climate Change Impacts

Climate change is already impacting Peoria’s weather and climate patterns:

  • Increasing temperatures – Average temperatures are rising in all seasons. Very hot days over 90°F are becoming more frequent while extreme cold is decreasing.
  • More heavy rainfalls – Heavy downpours and flash flooding are increasing. The top 5 wettest years on record have all occurred since 1990.
  • Severe weather – Warmer temperatures may increase instability, resulting in more frequent severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
  • Drought and floods – Shifts between very wet and very dry conditions are expected to increase under climate change.
  • Illinois River impacts – Changes in precipitation patterns may lead to more frequent Illinois River flooding. Warmer water temperatures impact ecosystems.
  • Agriculture challenges – Peoria’s important agricultural economy will be stressed by hotter summers, drought, and flooding.

The city government, businesses, and citizens in Peoria will need to take steps to prepare for and adapt to the effects of climate change in the coming decades.

Conclusion

In summary, Peoria has a humid continental climate characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters. Its inland location leads to extreme seasonal variations in temperatures. Severe thunderstorms are common in spring and summer while heavy snowfalls occur in winter. Climate change is already impact

ing Peoria through increases in temperature, heavy rainfall events, and severe weather. The city will need to become more resilient to the effects of a changing climate in the future.

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Directions

  • Head east on E Orchard Ave toward S Powerline Rd. The destination will be on your right just past S Elder St. Look for the green house with white trim. If you reach the intersection with S Fern St, you’ve gone too far. The total drive is approximately 0.2 miles from S Powerline Rd.
  • From downtown Nampa, take 3rd St S heading south. Turn right onto E Roosevelt Ave and continue for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto S Elder St and drive 0.1 miles until you reach E Orchard Ave. Take a right onto E Orchard Ave. The green house with white trim will be on your right just after turning.
  • Take I-84 W towards Nampa. Take exit 38 for Franklin Blvd toward Nampa/Caldwell. Turn right onto Franklin Blvd and drive 3.2 miles. Turn left onto E Orchard Ave and continue for 0.9 miles. The destination is the green house with white trim on the right just past S Elder St. The total drive from I-84 is approximately 4.5 miles.