NWS: Kane County In Midst of 'Severe Drought'

NWS: Kane County In Midst of ‘Severe Drought’

Although there are chances of storms this week, Kane County is in the midst of a D2 Severe Drought, according to the National Weather Service.

Persistent dry weather across the area since February has led to abnormally dry conditions and drought. Severe drought is now occurring across a small portion of northeastern Illinois including northern parts of the Chicago metro area.

Warming temperatures over the coming days and weeks will increase evapotranspiration and may worsen drought conditions without significant precipitation.

Summary of Impacts

Dry conditions over the last several months across the area have led to below average soil moisture, groundwater, and surface water levels. The lowest values are in far northeastern Illinois.

Volunteer observers have noted some drought stress to plants beginning to occur over the last few weeks in far northeast Illinois.

Climate Summary

Since February, precipitation across far northern Illinois has has been below to much below average.

According to a precipitation analysis by AHPS, values have been 25% to 75% of the climatic average, or 2 inches to 8 inches below the climatic average.

Precipitation deficits have worsened in recent weeks, with values ranging from 10% to 50% of the climatic average over the past 30 days. The largest precipitation deficits exist over portions of the far northeastern Illinois, including the northern Chicago Metro area.

Precipitation, Temperature Outlook

While precipitation is forecast across the area this week, but it appears unlikely to overcome the significant rainfall deficits this year, NWS officials said.

The Climate Prediction Center favors warmer than normal temperatures across the area for the rest of May, with above normal temperatures also favored for the month of June. Precipitation is favored to be near to above normal over the next few weeks.

Hydrologic Summary

Streamflow on rivers in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana ranges from much below average to much above average.

Below average streamflow values exist in northeast Illinois, with the lowest values found in the northern Chicago Metropolitan Area. Numerous stream gauges in that area are much below average with some locations reporting near record low values for this time of year.

Groundwater observing stations in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana indicate water levels ranging from much below average to near average. In far northeast Illinois, numerous groundwater observation stations indicate below average water levels, with some locations reporting near record low values for this time of year.

Soil moisture across northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana ranges from much below average to near average. The lowest soil moisture values are in far northeast Illinois, where models and direct observations indicate very low values from the near surface to deeper soil layers.

In northern portions of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, soil moisture values are near the 1st percentile for this time of year, according to an analysis by CPC.

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