Sunday rain returned to Clay County, and with it came cooler weather. While this has been what the area was waiting for, is it enough?
Unfortunately, probably not, according to rainfall data collected at the Flora Municipal Airport and data released by the Illinois State Water Survey.
According to the meters at the airport, under half an inch of rain fell Sunday. And according to the Water Survey, we remain in the worst drought for the state of Illinois since 1988.
Complicating this, the moisture levels across the state in the topsoil were rated at “short” and “very short.” Even worse, in the Southeastern Illinois, which state climatologist Jim Angel described as the “Hardest hit,” on his blog, 100-percent of the topsoil and 100-percent of the subsoil are rated as “very short.”
What’s worse is that during the 1988 drought, the level of soil moisture across the state was worse than 2012, but so far, the crops in 2012 are doing worse than that year.
So, while the climate feel more like a regular summer and less unbearable, the area will still require a great deal more rain for this drought to be considered over.