The most recent drought monitor continues to show moderate drought conditions across all of northern Illinois, with severe drought conditions still persisting over parts of McHenry and Lake counties. While that’s the bad news, the good news is that drought conditions have remained the same and haven’t worsened within the last couple of weeks. The rain helped in areas that were considered in severe drought early in the month of October, but the extremely dry conditions leading up to Fall have really depleted the moisture in the soil which is contributing to the still moderate drought conditions across much of the area.
Drought conditions across Wisconsin have worsened quite a bit within the last week, with nearly the entire state now considered as abnormally dry and almost half of the state suffering from moderate drought conditions, especially across the northern half.
The rainfall during the month of October, while heavy, was focused mostly south of the state line and even south of the immediate area stretching from southern and southeast Iowa, into central Illinois. Parts of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin received roughly 100-300% of the monthly normal of precipitation, with higher percentages in central Illinois. Considerably less rainfall was observed across central and northern Wisconsin. Where the rain came down it’s been able to outpace the evapotranspiration rate, which should begin to help in replenishing and building up the soil moisture through the rest of Fall, although little change was noted in soil moisture from the last week of October to now. Rainfall potential through the weekend remains very low as upper level ridging builds overhead and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico remains blocked. A cold front is expected to come through Monday evening but at this point appears to come through dry. Low pressure moving up along the front will bring in a chance for showers either Tuesday or Wednesday, or both days, next week, with possibly a bigger system set to arrive towards the end of next week.