This looks like a good year to procrastinate a little on the start to gardening chores. For me, that means that if something says start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost, I’m going with the 8 week, or even starting only 7 weeks before the median last frost date, April 13th.
Late last week, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center released their latest monthly and season forecast. They expect all but far southern Illinois to have an increased chance of below-average temperatures in March. They expect the northern third of Illinois to have an increased chance of below-average temperatures in March/April/May. On the precipitation side, there was nothing to say about March but they do expect an increased chance of wetter conditions in the southern third of Illinois.
On the more immediate time-frame, the latest 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts show that another blast of Arctic air will reach into the Midwest.