Our View: Expect drought conditions to worsen

Today’s drought monitor does not paint a pretty picture for Illinois and Wisconsin. 92 percent of the Land of Lincoln is in moderate to severe drought with the exception being a tiny sliver of land along I-80 from Moline to the south suburbs of Chicago. Conditions in Wisconsin continue to worsen, but mainly for the southern half of the state. Northern Wisconsin has been closer to an active jet stream which has brought rounds of thunderstorms in two to three day occurrences (which is normal for us this time of year).

We’ve done some calculations and found that June 2012 will go down as the third driest ever! June 1988 and 1922 were the only ones drier. Since January, only eleven inches of rain has fallen which is down from the 18.24 inches we should have seen by this date.

The prospects for substantial rain are very bleak. The most accurate weather model so far this summer has been the European model (ECMWF). The output for the next TEN days is only 0.08″. Average for a ten day stretch this time of year is 1.39″. Even the GFS model (which has been overdone for weeks) is giving us just a shade over the norm…nothing that will put a dent in this serious drought.

A lack of rain will continue to have significant impacts on agriculture and fire danger in the next few weeks. And if that wasn’t bad enough, an increasing drought brings an increased chance of seeing more 100 degree heat later this summer. -ES

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Posted under heat wave, news, record weather, safety, science, statistics, weather geek, wildfires

This post was written by qni_it on July 5, 2012

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