The latest drought monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center was released Thursday morning and continues to highlight most of northern Illinois under abnormally dry conditions. The same holds for southern and central Wisconsin, as well as the far northwest portion of the state.

Even though conditions were abnormally hot and dry over the last week, there has been no change in the percentage of the state that is considered dry. Wisconsin is still just a little over 24 percent, while Illinois is just a little over 8 percent. A big improvement from where conditions were just over the last couple of months.

The remainder of Thursday will stay dry but the chance for showers and thunderstorms will increase towards daybreak Friday as a weakening complex of storms is expected to move in from the west and northwest. Ongoing severe thunderstorms will continue to move out of Minnesota and into Wisconsin Thursday evening. An advancing cold front will slowly move closer to the Stateline Friday morning, passing through much of the region by early afternoon.

Ahead of the front showers and thunderstorms are expected to move through during the morning, bringing our highest chance for precipitation in through daybreak. Isolated thunderstorms will then be possible during the afternoon and evening as the cold front continues to pull further away from the Stateline. There remains a low risk for a few stronger thunderstorms with the heating of the day, but our highest instability will be with the storms as they move in Friday morning.