Your NPR news source

More heat, little rain expected for Illinois

SHARE More heat, little rain expected for Illinois

It seems likes it’s been raining a lot, but forecasters predict more hot, dry conditions for Illinois and experts say the drought is far from over.

Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel estimates it will take roughly six inches of rain to rehydrate the parched soil.

“But you don’t want six inches of rain to fall on you in twenty minutes, otherwise it will all run off” Angel said.

“So you really want just steady rains maybe a couple of days apart that will start to recharge the soil moisture.”

Other experts concurred with his assessment and added that it could take until next year for the soil to fully recover.

“Without an abundance of precipitation through the fall, you’re going to start off next spring with the same dry conditions that we did this spring and very little... improvment to the overall drought depiction not only in Illinois, but in the entire Midwest,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist with the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).

“And that’s been what the forecast has been for the last several months going into the fall.”

Fuchs said higher than normal temperatures and unusually low rainfall are predicted to continue through the end of October.

“We don’t really have a lot to hang our hat on for showing widespread improvement,” said Fuchs, who also works with the National Drought Mitigation Center, which helps produce the weekly drought monitor with other agencies.

In its report released last Thursday, the USDM stated that 94.10 percent of Illinois is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions.

The Latest