Drought Eases In Illinois

The U.S. Drought Monitor has reduced the area in drought for Illinois (first map below). Generous rainfall in recent weeks (second map) along the northern and southern borders of the drought led to the reductions. It also helps that cooler temperatures and maturing field crops have reduced the demand on soil moisture.

Soil moisture measurements from a network of sites operated by the Illinois State Water Survey confirmed that soil moisture was recovering by September 28. The table below list the soil moisture at 2, 4, and 8 inches and are a percentage of the water by volume. For example, “24” at 2 inches in Belleville means that the water content of the soil at that point is 24 percent. For most soils in Illinois, values of 30 percent or more mean plenty of soil moisture, values in the 20 percent range are a little dry, and values in the 10 percent range are very dry. The very low values at Kilbourne are typical of the very sandy soil there. They tend to drain very quickly and are only high right after a significant rainfall events.

Location	2 in	4 in	8 in
Belleville      24      28	27
Big Bend	24	29	23
Bondville	17	17	33
Brownstown	24	22	23
Champaign	21	31	32
Carbondale	28	34	32
DeKalb	        38	37	38
Dixon Springs	33	36	38
Fairfield	37	34	35
Freeport	36	37	42
Kilbourne	3	4	3
Monmouth	24	30	24
Olney	        26	30	32
Peoria	        32	35	35
Perry	        17	15	18
Springfield	25	23	14
Stelle	        32	34	29
St. Charles	33	38	39
Rend Lake	26	39	40
drought monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor results for Illinois, September 27, 2011.
september rainfall
September 1-28, 2011, rainfall for Illinois.
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