Recent heavy rain during the month of October helped to eliminate quite a bit of the drought that had developed over the spring and summer months in Illinois. Abnormally dry conditions still remain for portions of Winnebago, Ogle, and Stephenson counties, but moderate and severe drought conditions have been eliminated.

The same is true across the state line in Wisconsin. Even though moderate and severe drought conditions still exist in northern and southwest Wisconsin, the areas experiencing those have gotten smaller over the last couple of months.

Precipitation for the month of October for Rockford ended nearly two inches above the monthly average at 4.60 inches. This follows two months (September and August) that had a rainfall deficit. While July ended about half an inch above the monthly average, it was coming off of a very dry June and during a time when moisture was needed for the growing season.

It’s encouraging to see these improvements as we move further into the fall season as adequate soil moisture is needed during the winter months, going into the spring season.

Looking into the next couple weeks of November there don’t appear to be any big rain events on the horizon. A few smaller systems could bring us some rain – or perhaps even a rain/snow mix – over the next week. But a zonal flow in our jet stream pattern will work to keep the bigger systems at bay, at least for now. It does appear that we could be in for a warming trend around the 10th – 18th of the month. Average highs by that time are in the middle to upper 40s. This potential warm up would likely keep highs in the 50s.