The latest drought monitor was released Thursday morning and continues to show northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin dealing with moderate to severe drought conditions, with extreme drought conditions across a portion of far northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin.
Year-to-date rainfall is running at a significant deficit at a little over nine and a half inches. We just surpassed our half way point through the year, coming in at the third driest first half on record, with only 1934 and 1958 ending up drier.
With moderate to severe drought conditions present the impacts to crops and vegetation continues to grow. During moderate drought conditions row crops and pasture begin to show stress, as well as trees. During severe drought conditions row crop and vegetable conditions are poor and hay yield is low. Lawns tend to go dormant, farmers are stressed as the agricultural community begins hurting, fireworks can be banned if too dry and water levels in wells, ponds, rivers and lakes are low, along with low streamflow.
Climatologically June is our wettest month with just a little over five inches of rain falling. Typically we see a drop in our monthly precipitation during the month of July, with another uptick in August. The outlook for any rain this weekend looks to remain fairly low, but we should see the chance for rain increase with the arrival of a cold front Tuesday night and Wednesday.