Wet Weather Continues in Illinois, Could Delay Harvest

October is off to a wet start and the wet weather is expected to continue over the next 14 days for Illinois. This could have an impact on the already slow fall harvest season in Illinois. The USDA NASS report on Monday noted that 14% of the corn crop in Illinois was harvested, compared to a 5-year average of 34%. Also, 10% of the soybean crop was harvested compared to the 5-year average of 18%.

Here is the precipitation over the past 24 hours. Amounts of 1 to 3 inches were widespread across central Illinois. This was the same area that received much above average precipitation in September, according to the post on September.


Here is the NWS Quantitative Precipitation Forecast for the next 7 days. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. For Illinois, amounts are in the range of 1 to almost 3 inches.  Continue reading “Wet Weather Continues in Illinois, Could Delay Harvest”

Dryness Across Northern and Central Illinois

After a wet start to the 2014 growing season, we have seen a significant drop in rainfall across parts of northern and central Illinois in the last few weeks. Here is the 30-day rainfall as a percent of average. Areas in the orange are 25 to 75 percent of average while the areas in red are less than 25 percent of average. There are reports of soil moisture running low in some areas. On the other hand, southern Illinois has received above-average rainfall in the last 30 days.


Besides the switch from too wet to too dry in northern and central Illinois, and too much rain in southern Illinois, the other issue is that temperatures have been running about 4 degrees below average for the past 30 days. We are getting some heat this week. However, the longer-term forecasts indicate a return to cooler temperatures and more rain after this week through September 1.

If you look at the last 90 days the heavier rains in June and early July masks the recent dryness (map below). In fact, at the 90 day time scale rainfall in Illinois is generally at or above long-term average (1981-2010), as denoted by the grays and greens. This is one of the challenges of drought monitoring – sorting out short-term dryness versus long-term wetness or vice versa.