Dry conditions have persisted and intensified over a large part of the Midwest. According to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, approximately 51 percent of the Midwest is experiencing abnormally dry conditions with 21.5 percent seeing moderate drought and a little over 7 percent in severe drought conditions. As many as 6 states are reporting areas of severe drought and 8 states reporting moderate drought conditions. Most of the moderate to severe drought conditions have been concentrated over southeastern Iowa, central and southern Illinois and Indiana.
In Indiana, 83 percent of the state is experiencing dry conditions with about 53 percent experiencing moderate drought conditions and 17 percent severe drought conditions.
In Illinois, 79 percent of the state is experiencing dry conditions with about 55 percent experiencing moderate drought conditions and 28 percent severe drought conditions.
In Iowa, 70 percent of the state is experiencing dry conditions with about 26 percent experiencing moderate drought conditions and 10 percent severe drought conditions.
The lack of rain has had an agricultural and hydrological impact across these areas. According to the September 19 summary from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 59% of the corn crop and 53% of the soybean crop across the state of Illinois, is considered to be in “fair” condition or worse. In Indiana, 66% of corn and 59% of soybean is in fair condition or worse. Pumpkin farmers are also reporting that the pumpkin crop will likely be lower than usual due to the drought.
Smaller streams across east-central Illinois are seeing streamflow values both around the 15th to 25th percentiles which is considered below normal and values below the 10th percentile are considered much below normal for this time of year.
Below is a list of selected rivers and small streams across east-central Illinois and its streamflow, % of normal, and percentile values:
Lake Fork near Cornland, IL: 3.4cfs, 28%, and 5% (much below normal)
Salt Creek near Rowell, IL: 6.2cfs, 41%, and 9% (much below normal)
Sangamon River at Monticello, IL: 7.8cfs, 36%, and 17% (below normal)
Boneyard Creek at Urbana, IL: 0.48cfs, 25%, and 1% (much below normal)
Other areas across the Midwest experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions includes the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northeastern and southwestern Missouri, and northeastern Minnesota.
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