Abnormally Dry Conditions over Northern Illinois and Indiana
 
The June 14th release of the drought monitor indicates that dry conditions are present over a portion of northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana. From January 2007 through May 2007, precipitation is at or above normal across most of northern Illinois and Indiana, but conditions have deteriorated across a stretch from west central Illinois northeastward toward central Indiana where rainfall deficits over the past 60 days have been on the order of 3 to 6 inches. However, with the plentiful precipitation in the months previous to May, there is a sufficient amount of sub-topsoil moisture that most crops should be able to survive a short dry spell. A timely rain over the next week would help get things back on track. The D0 conditions stretch from far southern Livingston county eastward through Ford, Iroquois, Benton, and southern Newton and Jasper counties.
 
 
 U.S. Drought Monitor
Illinois Drought Monitor
Indiana Drought Monitor
 
The U.S. drought monitor is a weekly collaborative
Effort between a number of federal agencies such as:
NOAA/NWS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the
National Drought Mitigation Center.
 
 
Palmer Drought Severity Index 
 
** the latest palmer index is at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/regional_monitoring/palmer.gif
 
 
Soil moisture conditions:
 
As of June 9th, the Midwest Regional Climate Center indicated soil moisture deficits to a depth of 72 inches ranging from 0 to 0.5 inches across east central Illinois into northwest Indiana and a surplus of 0 to 1 inch across northern Illinois.  60-day precipitation analysis from the North Central River Forecast Center shows 2 to 4 inches of precipitation deficit across most of northern Illinois and Indiana and a swath of 4 to 6 inches of precipitation deficit across central and southern Illinois/Indiana..
 
 
 Soil Moisture Deviation (to 72 inches)
60 Day Precipitation from Normal
 
 
Agricultural impacts/report:
 
Days suitable for fieldwork: 6.0. Topsoil moisture: 12% very short, 39% short, 48% adequate, 1% surplus. Corn average height: 26 inches, 18 inches 2006, 16 in. avg. Oats 66% headed, 66% 2006, 56% avg.; filled 28%, 25% 2006, 22% avg.; 5% turning yellow, 5% 2006, 5% avg.; condition 1% very poor, 3% poor, 29% fair, 63% good, 4% excellent. Winter wheat filled 92%, 97% 2006, 93% avg.; 68% turning yellow, 81% 2006, 73% avg.; 16% ripe, 34% 2006, 21% avg. Alfalfa 1st crop cut 80%, 90% 2006, 81% avg.; 2nd crop cut 8%, 10% 2006, 7% avg.; condition 4% very poor, 13% poor, 29% fair, 46% good, 8% excellent. Red clover cut 83%, 76% 2006, 72% avg.; condition 5% very poor, 31% poor, 20% fair, 38% good, 6% excellent. The chance of rain came, went for many areas across the state last week with only limited areas receiving any significant rainfall. Severe weather accompanied many of these storms but little damage was reported. Spraying for weeds continued in corn fields and began in soybean fields but was limited by strong winds. The strong winds received on Thursday (June 7th) depleted topsoil moisture very rapidly. Topsoil moisture levels held fairly steady in northern Illinois which received the most rain but decreased greatly across the rest of the state. Last week’s heat and dry weather caused corn leaves to roll in the heat of the day and is being credited with uneven emergence in many soybean fields. Soybean planting was virtually complete last week for all but the double crop beans. Farmers report that what remains of their wheat crop, after the Easter freeze, is maturing quickly due to the heat and dry conditions. Farmers were also busy last week mowing roadsides, bailing hay and waiting in lines while hauling grain.
 
Via USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (6/12/07) 
Short/Long Range Outlooks:
 
In the short term, the best chance for precipitation will come on Monday night into Tuesday morning as a cold front moves through the region and brings an end to the persistent high pressure that had been over the region for the past week. This front will be fairly quick moving, so the precipitation spread will likely vary quite a bit.
 
June 23rd thru 29th: the 8 to 14 day outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center indicates a 40-50% chance of below normal precipitation falling across northern Illinois and Indiana.
 
The outlook for the month of June indicates equal chances of having above normal, near normal and below normal temperatures and precipitation. Additionally, the June through August 90-day outlook indicates equal chances of having above normal, near normal, and below normal temperatures and precipitation.  
 
 
 
Climatological Summary:
 
Over the past 90 days (November 30th through February 27th), precipitation deficits of zero to one inch are present in portions of northeastern Illinois along Lake Michigan as well as in northwestern Indiana. A surplus of zero to one inch was observed in north central Illinois.
 
Here are some specific statistics for cities across the area in the D0 conditions:
  
Station
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Total
June 1-Jan 31
Gibson City
3.61
2.40
4.29
2.81
1.09
3.92
4.55
0.84
23.51
Piper City
3.75
3.04
6.55
4.20
2.17
7.37
4.22
1.87
33.17
Paxton
3.95
2.49
5.00
2.68
1.75
3.40
3.21
2.32
24.80
Milford
3.98
2.68
4.27
2.83
1.88
5.06
4.27
1.23
26.20
Watseka
3.87
2.67
4.32
3.46
2.13
5.21
4.05
1.60
27.31
Boswell
3.76
2.23
4.33
3.14
1.07
4.45
3.48
2.62
25.08
Remington
3.34
2.47
3.83
3.19
1.45
5.94
4.04
1.74
24.26
 
Normal amounts for Gibson City, Piper City and Watseka are 21.80”, 22.06”, and 23.30” respectively. That means that over this period dating back to October, all of these stations are above normal (well above for Piper City and Watseka). However, the main reason for the D0 conditions being present is from what has happened over the past month and a half with the dry and windy conditions.
 
 
What is the reason for the abnormally dry conditions?
 
Recently, a large ridge of high pressure has been present across the Great Lakes region, leaving the entire region dry over the past week. Prior to that, the month of May was well below normal for precipitation. There were a few days that produced a decent amount of precipitation across the region, but not enough overall for the month. Also, windy conditions persisted through a good length of May and the early portion of June, which helped to considerably dry out the topsoil
 
 
Tim Halbach
Climate Services Focal Point
National Weather Service-Chicago
 

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