Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bad News for August in Illinois

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center has updated their forecast for August. It’s not good news for Illinois with an increased risk of above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation.

NOAA Climate Prediction Center temperature forecast for August, released July 31, 2012. Illinois has a higher risk of above-normal temperatures in August. Click to enlarge.

NOAA Climate Prediction Center precipitation forecast for August, released July 31, 2012. Illinois has a higher risk of below-normal precipitation in August. Click to enlarge.


Latest Analysis on the Impacts of Drought on U.S. Agriculture

The USDA has produced some interesting slides for the World Agricultural Outlook Board, showing the current drought overlaid on production areas. The first two are about the U.S. corn production areas, then the soybean areas, and finally the cattle areas. Each pair of slides shows a map of the overlay, and a time series of the area affected by drought.

By July 24, about 89 percent of the corn production area was in drought. That percentage has been climbing steadily since early June. It’s the same story with 88 percent of the soybean production area and 73 percent of the cattle production area in drought.

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Drought Intensifies in Illinois

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has expanded D3 “extreme” drought across Illinois. It went from 8 percent of the state last week to 71 percent this week. This major shift was based on a number of short-term drought indicators based on rainfall, streamflow, and temperature, as well as from widespread reports of significant crop and pasture losses.

According to the USDA

The streamlined process provides for nearly an automatic designation for any county in which drought conditions, as reported in the U.S. Drought Monitor … when any portion of a county meets the D2 (Severe Drought) drought intensity value for eight consecutive weeks. A county that has a portion of its area in a drought intensity value of D3 (Extreme Drought) or higher at any time during the growing season also would be designated as a disaster area.

Earlier this week, the USDA NASS reported that 66 percent of the corn crop, 49 percent of the soybean crop, and 91 percent of pasture was rated poor to very poor. Topsoil was rated at 91 percent poor to very poor and subsoil was rated 97 percent poor to very poor. More details can be found in the weekly Illinois Weather and Crops report.

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Near Record Heat and Dryness in July

Based on data through yesterday, this July is shaping up to be one of the warmest and driest on record. Based on the forecast, this July is likely to remain as one of the warmest on record. My hope is that we get so much rain in the next week that we are not even close to the driest July on record.

Statewide Average Temperature Rankings for July in Illinois

  1. 1936:  83.1 ºF
  2. 2012:  81.8 ºF (as of July 30)
  3. 1901:  81.7 ºF
  4. 1934:  81.3 ºF
  5. 1916:  80.4 ºF

Statewide Average Rainfall Rankings for July in Illinois

  1. 1930:  1.02 inches
  2. 1916:  1.23 inches
  3. 1936:  1.24 inches
  4. 2012:  1.44 inches (as of July 30)
  5. 1914:  1.51 inches

Drought Expands in Illinois

The U.S. Drought Monitor released the latest drought map, showing that the “severe” D2 drought has expanded across much of northern Illinois. Only an area in the northeast part of the state remains in moderate drought (first figure).

The Climate Prediction Center also released their drought outlook today. They expect the drought in the central U.S. to persist over the next 3 months (second figure).

U.S. Drought Monitor map for Illinois, released on July 19, 2012. Click to enlarge.

Climate Prediction Center drought outlook, released on July 19, 2012. Click to enlarge.