The rains of the past few days have moved us from the 2nd driest October on record to the 13th driest October on record. The statewide total is now 1.24 inches, 2″ below average.
The Illinois State Water Survey soil moisture network shows a nice recovery at the 2 and 4-inch depths. However, dry conditions remain at the 8-inch depth at most locations. This should be good news for winter wheat and pasture.
Here is the rainfall map for the past 7 days. Most of the rain in Illinois has come in the last 2 days of that mapping period. In fact, almost all the rain in October for Illinois has fallen in the last 2 days.
Most of Illinois was in the two lighter shades of green, indicating rainfall amount of between 0.5 and 1.5 inches. There is a hole in southwestern Illinois (blue) were rainfall amounts were less than 0.5 inches. Higher amounts of 2 or more inches just missed Illinois, and fell across the border in Kentucky and southern Indiana.
It looks like we have one last shot of rain in October on Saturday.
As of this morning, the statewide average precipitation in Illinois was 0.34 inches. That makes it the second driest October on record. However, the forecast for Tuesday will move us down in the rankings. In the meantime, here is where we stand for dry Octobers:
Over the weekend, most areas of the state saw their first taste of 32 degrees or colder. Here are the maps from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center showing that the almost the entire state was covered. A few places in the Chicago area may have escaped thanks to the so-called Urban Heat Island (UHI) – lots of warm surfaces like roads, asphalt parking lots, roofs, and waste heat from buildings. For example, O’Hare AP reached 33 degrees. Meanwhile, Mt. Carroll in northwest Illinois reported 20 degrees on October 18. Now that’s cold.
October has been both warmer and drier than average so far for Illinois.
Temperatures have run 1 to 2 degrees above average in Illinois and across most of the Midwest (first map). This follows close on the heels of a September that is now considered the 8th warmest on record at 70.4 degrees according to NCEI.
Meanwhile, precipitation has been largely missing in action in October (map below). The areas in gray across Iowa, and parts of surrounding states indicate almost no measurable precipitation has fallen. It’s hard to tell on this map because of the scale, but most of Illinois has received less a tenth of an inch for the month so far. The statewide average is 0.05 inches. Continue reading “October Warm and Dry So Far in Illinois”
I have received several calls already about the shortage of pumpkins in Illinois. This pertains not only to the decorative ones seen everywhere, but especially for the processed varieties grown around Morton Illinois. Time Magazine had a short article saying that 90% of the processed pumpkin production comes from Illinois and that they expect a one-third drop in production this year. Here is an excellent article describing pumpkin production in Illinois.
The primary cause of the current shortage is the record-setting precipitation in June. It didn’t help that May and July were wetter than average as well. Statewide, the average precipitation in June was 9.43 inches, 5.33 inches above average and the wettest June on record. In the map below, amounts of 5 to 10 inches (shades of blue) were common across the state. Continue reading “The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015 in Illinois”
Based on preliminary data, September 2015 was the ninth warmest September on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature was 70.2 degrees, 4 degrees above average. The warmest September on record was 1933 with 72.2 degrees.
The statewide average precipitation for September was 3.42 inches, 0.19 inches above average. However, the precipitation was unevenly distributed around the state as shown in the maps below. Most of the state received between 3 to 5 inches (shades of blue), while western and far southern Illinois were much drier with less than 3 inches of precipitation.