While the rains continue in northeastern Illinois, much of the rest of the state has been bone dry in August. Rainfall totals range from 3-5 inches in the Chicago area to less than an inch in many locations across central and southern Illinois. This band of dryness extends from southern Minnesota, eastern Iowa, Illinois, and into parts of Indiana and Kentucky (see first map).
Rainfall departures are on the order of 1-2 inches below average in the driest areas. Some of those same areas received little rainfall in July. The US Drought Monitor has much of central and southern Illinois in at least “moderately dry” with “moderate drought” in the central region of the state.
Of particular concern to me is that the few opportunities for substantial rain in August across central Illinois have resulted in only scattered showers/thunderstorms at best. There is another chance of rain on Tuesday/Wednesday but the projected amounts are on the order of 0.25 inches or less.
Update: USDA, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) released the following on Illinois topsoil moisture (percent) by crop reporting district: