The U.S. Drought Monitor has expanded the area in Illinois under moderate drought (D1). It now covers 39 percent of the state. This expansion was due to exceptionally dry conditions over the last 60 days, combined with the above-average temperatures of the last two weeks. Most droughts take months to evolve, but this one developed so fast that we are calling it a “flash drought”. So far, the impacts seem to be focused on yards and crops, and not water supplies.
The second map shows the precipitation across the Midwest in the last 60 days as a percent of average. The large areas in red across the Cornbelt were especially dry with amounts less than half of average. A small area in western Illinois was less than 25 percent of average (parts of Adams and Hancock counties).