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.
For reference, the statewide average precipitation in October is 3.24 inches. The driest October on record was 1964 with 0.18 inches.
The warmer weather has helped in the maturity and dry-down of corn and soybeans after a slow, wet start to the 2015 growing season. It may cause problems moving forward, combined with the exceptionally dry weather in recent weeks.