Mild December weather saves Champaign money

This year was the warmest Champaign-Urbana has ever seen, according to the Illinois State Water Survey.

The average temperature for 2012 was 55.7 degrees, up from 2011’s 53.1 degrees.

There was also less snow than was predicted, said Kris Koester, public information officer for the Champaign public works department.

“The snow started much later than normal,” he said, “We usually get our first snow by Dec. 7; this year it wasn’t until the 20th.”

Scientists say even with global warming, natural and local weather changes mean that temperatures will go up and down over the years. But overall, temperatures are climbing. In the United States, the temperature trend has gone up 1.3 degrees over the last century, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.

Koester also mentioned that the lack of snowfall saved the city money by reducing the need for labor, fuel costs and salt.

There were, however, some high winds to be paired with the cold.

“Although we had low accumulation of snowfall, the wind was casing us some additional issues,” Koester said. “We had a downed stoplight and a downed tree and a downed fence in a few areas.”

All of those issues have since been fixed, but Koester advises being careful because there could be more winter weather still ahead.

“It’s still so early on that we could get a lot more,” he said. “We would encourage people to pay attention to the weather and be safe if they are out traveling and walking in the event that there is snow.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Maddie can be reached at