Some much-needed rain arrived in Illinois over the weekend. As the first map below shows, the rains were widespread across the state. The heaviest amounts of two inches or more fell in the area from around St. Louis eastward and another band across northern Illinois.
However, rainfall in some key agriculture areas of the state remains below normal for April (second map). A band through north-central Illinois is running about 1 to 2 inches below normal for the month. Another area of dry conditions can be seen in southern Illinois in the counties along the Ohio River. This area of dryness is connected to a larger region in southeast MO, western KY, and southern IN.
The statewide average temperature for the first half of April is 54.5 degrees, 5.7 degrees above normal. As noted in earlier posts, despite the warm weather we have had several days with below freezing temperatures. Considering that many plants in the landscape are about 3 to 4 weeks ahead of schedule, the freezing temperatures did cause some damage. In my yard, the list of damage included some hostas, a smoke bush, and the tips of some rose bushes and yews – all cosmetic.
At least Illinois has avoided the severe weather so far in April. No tornadoes were reported as of April 16, unlike the states to our west. The tornado count in Illinois for 2012 is 2 for January, 4 for February, and 8 for March.