Trent Ford

Don’t Sleep on Drought this Winter

Consecutive drier growing seasons have depleted deeper layer soil moisture and dropped water table levels across much of Illinois. Without near to wetter than normal conditions in winter, dry soil conditions could persist into the spring. El Niño conditions in the Pacific increase the chances of drier and warmer than normal weather, which could also impede longer-term drought recovery, especially in parts of western Illinois that have accumulated the largest deficits since the start of 2022.

By |November 21, 2023|

Current U.S. Drought Conditions for Illinois

To view current U.S. drought conditions, check out the Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Illinois.  The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. The map shows drought conditions across Illinois using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more. The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture [...]

By |June 15, 2021|

Current Soil & Moisture Conditions and Outlooks to Summer

2020 marked the third consecutive year with statewide total annual precipitation above the long-term average, and it was the eighth wetter than average calendar year since 2011. However, the statewide totals do not paint a complete picture of current moisture conditions around the state. While the wet trend continued throughout the year in southern Illinois and parts of northern Illinois, drought developed and has persisted in central Illinois. Here I will summarize current moisture conditions and both temperature and precipitation outlooks through spring. Current Conditions Virtually every part of Illinois was wetter than average through the first half of [...]

By |April 5, 2021|

2019 Weather Summary and a Look Forward to 2020

The 2019 weather year was chaotic and variable, with multiple extreme events that added tremendous difficulty for farmers and producers. Here I’ll review the eventful 2019 weather year and offer an outlook for winter/spring 2020. Wet Winter & Spring Statewide monthly precipitation departure from the 30-year normal from June 2018 to October 2019. Data were provided by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (  2019 started with preexisting wet conditions, as five of the last seven months of 2018 were wetter than normal statewide. This was followed by above normal precipitation in January and February, saturating soils across the region. [...]

By |December 11, 2019|
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