It's official! Record low temperature reclaimed by Mount Carroll
State committee votes unanimously to confirm record Illinois reading of 38 below
By Ted Cox
Mount Carroll has its frigid state title back.
A state committee has voted unanimously to confirm a reading of 38 below zero taken Jan. 31 at the town of 1,600 people, just inland from Savanna on the Mississippi River in Carroll County, as the new lowest temperature ever recorded in Illinois. Confirmation was posted Wednesday on the Illinois State Climatologist website.
According to Brian Kerschner, of the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign, he represented the climatologist office on the State Climate Extremes Committee, joined by delegates from the National Weather Service, the Midwest Regional Climate Center, and the National Centers for Environment Information. All voted to affirm the record.
Mount Carroll thus reclaims the state’s record low temperature after losing it to Congerville, located to the southeast between Peoria and Bloomington, which posted a reading of minus 36 in 1999. Mount Carroll had held the record for decades before that with a reading of 35 below zero taken in 1930.
It also makes a moot point of the 37-below temperature registered between those two towns at Rochelle 10 years ago. That was taken at an airport that was not part of the Illinois climate network and was never made official.
Mount Carroll had 1,717 residents in the 2010 census, and population was most recently estimated at 1,604 in 2017. Its weather station has been in operation since 1895, with only minor interruptions, and is operated by the city, attended by staff at its water-treatment plant.
The National Centers for Environmental Information has a list of state weather records, including a top temperature of 117 posted at East St. Louis Parks College in 1954.