Dear Chain O’ Lakes and Fox River users,
Drought conditions continue to worsen across the area due to continued dry weather. Soil moisture and river levels are now much below average at many locations, with some area rivers near the lowest level recorded for mid-June over the last several decades. Observed drought impacts include dormant grass, stress to trees/shrubs, stress to crops, burn bans, water restrictions, and increased wildfire spread. Evapotranspiration is at its highest during summer, so continued dry weather will cause drought conditions to worsen. The Drought Monitor now indicates Moderate Drought (D1) conditions across most of northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana and Severe Drought (D2) conditions in multiple areas including the Chicago metro.
For real time updates on precipitation, soil moisture, drought impacts, and weather forecasts, see our drought briefing page: https://www.weather.gov/lot/drought
Please share with us any information you have on local drought impacts. Impacts such as water use restrictions, burn bans, boating/shipping problems, and issues with water supply intakes are all important for our situational awareness and we can share this information with the state climatologists who help create the United States Drought Monitor.
At this time we have no additional drought briefings or products scheduled. This may change if conditions worsen.