Drought Expands in Illinois

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has 89 percent of Illinois in some stage of drought. Only a few areas that got sufficient rains (east of St. Louis for example) in the last few weeks have avoided the worst of it. Here is the latest map:

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Drought in Illinois

After several months of above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall, drought has arrived across many portions of Illinois. Today the Illinois State Water Survey released their latest update on the drought at http://www.isws.illinois.edu/hilites/drought/

The June 21 report starts by saying

The ISWS now considers central and southern Illinois to be fully in drought based on several impacts including the early-season onset of reservoir drawdown at many water supply lakes as well as the continuing seasonally-low water levels in many streams and shallow groundwater resources. Impacts to agriculture appear to be at a cusp. Crops in many locations are experiencing some stress and soil moisture is short; but, with timely rainfalls over the next month, there is a possibility that damage to crops could be largely averted. Hydrologic conditions, however, will likely continue to worsen in upcoming months even with normal rainfall. Northern Illinois is also dry, and if dry conditions continue through the next month, might also be considered to be in drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor release their latest findings today as well. One hundred percent of the state is categorized as being either abnormally dry or with some degree of drought. Conditions are worst in southern Illinois.

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What’s worse is that according to the National Weather Service, the forecast for the rest of June and July calls for an increased risk of above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation. And the outlook for July-September is for an increased chance of above-normal temperatures and equal chances of above, below, or near-normal precipitation.

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