Better Weather for Pumpkins in Illinois

I have to admit – I am a big fan of pumpkin pie. So I was concerned about the news stories about the pumpkin shortage. It turns out that Illinois is home to 95 percent of pumpkin production used for pie filling. In fact, Morton, in central Illinois, is considered the pumpkin capital of the world.

Last year was terrible for pumpkin production around Morton. After a wet growing season, October rains that were 3 times the average, over already wet fields, prevented growers from harvesting most of the 2009 crop.

Conditions in 2010 around Morton have been better so far. After a wet start, conditions in July and August were much drier. And the NWS forecast for October is for increased odds of warmer and drier than normal weather. Here’s to a successful pumpkin harvest.

Monthly Rainfall Totals (inches) for Morton, IL for this year, last year, and average (1998-2008).
Month 2010 2009 Average
April 3.8″ 7.3″ 3.8″
May 6.2″ 5.7″ 4.9″
June 6.8″ 5.1″ 4.0″
July 3.8″ 3.1″ 3.9″
August 2.0″ 4.5″ 3.2″
September 1.7″ 2.6″ 2.9″
October 8.9″ 2.9″

**the total for September, 2010, is through the 17th.

About Jim Angel

I have been the State Climatologist for Illinois since 1997. I have worked at the Illinois State Water Survey since 1984. The Water Survey is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.
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