The latest drought monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center was released Thursday morning and continues to highlight northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin with moderate drought conditions, but there has been quite a bit of improvement in both precipitation and soil moisture over the last month with the recent rainfall.

However, the impacts from the extreme dry conditions from last year are still being felt as deeper soil moisture still lacking. This will take some time to bring us out of the moderate drought conditions, but with continued, steady rainfall we should continue to see improvements.

The last few weeks have featured quite a bit of much needed precipitation for the region, adding up to a little over four inches since March 1st. Scattered rain showers will continue for the remainder of Thursday evening, mixing in with snow showers from time to time overnight and into Friday. Rainfall amounts are to remain under a quarter of an inch. We dry out for the start of the weekend but could enter into a slightly more active storm pattern next week which could feature several opportunities for rain and thunderstorms. Beyond that, a slightly drier pattern may settle in to place.