The U.S. Drought Monitor just increased the drought coverage in Illinois to 100 percent. In addition, the area of D2 “severe drought” expanded in eastern Illinois and east of St. Louis and along the Illinois-Wisconsin border.
The statistics for July so far (July 1 – 11) show why the drought has worsened so quickly. The statewide average precipitation was 0.5 inches, just 37 percent of what we would normally receive in the first 11 days of July. The statewide average temperature during this time was 83.1 degrees, 7.5 degrees above normal.
The table that accompanies the map has some interesting statistics. A year ago at this time there was no drought in Illinois thanks to an exceptionally wet spring and early summer. And this year started out with no drought in Illinois. Even three months ago only a small part of southern Illinois (5 percent) was considered in a moderate drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a joint effort between NOAA, USDA, and the National Drought Mitigation Center. They do consider local input on drought impacts. If you have any impacts – text and/or picture – that you would like to include for consideration, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you.