Developing Drought over Central IL - Updated June 20

Abnormally dry weather conditions have plagued Illinois much of the spring, with only a few widely spaced bouts of significant rainfall. The following table shows how precipitation so far this year stacks up to precipitation up to this point over the past 2 years as well as versus average and departure from normal. Springfield is nearly 3 inches below normal so far this year while Peoria, Lincoln, Champaign, Bloomington, Decatur, Danville, Galesburg, Charleston, Paris, Tuscola, Flora and Effingham are 5-9 inches below normal.  Lawrenceville was over a foot below normal.  Much of central Illinois (except for Springfield) is running 7-17 inches behind 2011 precipitation totals for the first half of the year with Paris and Lawrenceville nearly 20 inches below last year! 

Precipitation Jan 1 - June 20

 

 Peoria 

 Springfield 

 Lincoln 

Champaign 

Bloomington

Decatur

Galesburg

Danville

2011

23.51

18.80

17.36

20.43

20.89

26.28

20.41

24.41

2012

11.50

14.15

9.47

12.94

10.10

9.16

12.06

10.71

Average

16.79

17.22

17.06

18.35

17.69

18.35

16.98

19.25

Departure of Mean

-5.29

-3.07

-7.59

-5.41

-7.59

-9.19

-4.92

-8.54

Departure
from 2011

-12.01

-4.65

-7.89

-7.49

-10.79

-17.12

-8.35

-13.70

 

      

 Charleston

 Mattoon 

 Lawrenceville

 Flora

 Paris

  Tuscola

 Jacksonville

 Effingham

2011

26.83

26.79

29.86

32.01

 31.79

 20.87

 25.90

 29.06

2012

12.82

15.44

9.60

 15.48

 12.32

 11.57

 13.45

 13.55

Average

19.69

18.02

21.87

 21.87

 19.18

 18.20

 18.02

  20.51

Departure  of Mean

-6.87

-2.58

-12.27

 -6.39

 -6.85

 -6.63

 -4.57

 -6.96

Departure
from 2011

-14.01

-11.35

-20.26

 -16.53

 -19.47

 -9.30

 -12.45

 -15.51

Map below shows the 30 day precipitation departure from normal from May 9 - June 8, 2012 across central Illinois.

30 Day Precipitation Departure from Normal from May 8 - June 8, 2012 

 

Maps below from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center show the percent of normal precipitation by month across the Midwest so far this growing season.

 

 

While precipitation for the year is running below average, the rainfall deficits for the past month since May 5th is particularly severe.  This dry weather this past month is occuring during the start of what is typically the wettest time of year in the region and at a time that is critical for farmers to get adequate rainfall toward the start of the growing season for the corn and soybean fields.  Lincoln, IL had the 10th driest spring on record with 6.50 inches of precipitation from March through May. 

The unusually dry weather has prompted the National Drought Mitigation Center to classify portions of central Illinois as experiencing D1 moderate drought conditions, which is in second level in the 5 tier long term drought severity index. The U.S. Drought Monitor map below is a measure of long term drought severity, The Palmer Z index, a shorter term measure of drought, for this past spring places the heart of central Illinois in severe short term drought.  Southern Illinois is in a severe drought (D2) with Paducah, KY only having 11.59 inches of precipitation so far this year through June 20th which is 12.31 inches below normal so receiving only half of their normal precipitation for the first half of the year.  

Illinois drought monitor map

Short Term Drought Indicator

 

The forecast for the next 7 days continues above normal temperatures and most days dry with just a chance of showers and thunderstorms around Thursday June 21. Unfortunately, longer range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center offer little hope in this dry spell ending and temperatures tending to stay warmer than normal into early July. Here is the 8-14 day preciptition and temperature outlook:

 -8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook

8-14 Temperature Outlook



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