The latest drought monitor shows little improvement in the dry and moderate drought conditions across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. In fact, severe drought conditions have developed over a portion of northeast Illinois.
In northern Illinois, abnormally dry conditions are present with moderate drought conditions persisting across portions of Winnebago, DeKalb, Boone and McHenry counties. Severe drought conditions are also present over much of central and eastern McHenry county, Kane, Lake and northern Cook counties as we’ve continued with our persistent dry conditions since February. As temperatures continue to warm into the weekend it will only increase the evapotranspiration from the ground/soil and may actually worsen the drought conditions with out any significant precipitation. Drought conditions are not any better in Wisconsin a moderate drought continues for south-central Wisconsin.
According to the Chicago National Weather Service the dry conditions over the last several months has lead to below average soil moisture, groundwater and surface water levels. The lowest levels are found in northeast Illinois where the severe drought conditions have developed and drought stress to plants is beginning to occur. The longer range outlook that takes us through the end of May and into the beginning of June does favor a higher probability for above average precipitation.
There are a few chances that we’ll see some rain leading into the weekend but it doesn’t look like it’ll be anything too significant. A few hit or miss showers/storms are likely Friday afternoon and evening, and then again Saturday morning. The scattered shower chance may continue into Sunday and Monday of next week before a cold front arrives by the middle to end of the week.
In fact, if we look at the potential rainfall over the next week, areas west of the Mississippi River are favored for higher precipitation than here locally. That may change towards Memorial Day weekend, into the beginning June, but time will tell. Drought stricken areas often times don’t benefit from much needed rain as it is hard to get much moisture over the dry ground/soil.