U.S. Drought Monitor

Illinois has seen less snow than usual this winter. But the state is still on pace to have more precipitation than in 2012. The U.S. Drought Monitor says only a third of Illinois is still in drought or "abnormally dry" conditions -- down from 100 percent last fall.

Several northern Illinois counties added to drought list

Aug 16, 2012

All counties in Illinois have now been designated as "primary disaster areas" due to drought. That's after the U.S. Department of Agriculture added counties in northern Illinois to the list.

Expert says Illinois' drought won't end anytime soon

Jul 30, 2012

Illinois is seeing slightly cooler temperatures following last week's hundred-degree days. But state climatologist Jim Angel says it appears the end of the drought is a long way off.

Quinn asks for more federal help for drought-stricken counties

Jul 23, 2012

Governor Pat Quinn has asked for federal disaster designations for virtually all Illinois counties. His request comes amid one of the state's worst droughts on record.

Illinois Farm Bureau

Quinn tours drought-stricken Southern Illinois farm

With the warm spring, farmers were able to plant early and corn and soy seeds went in at a remarkable pace.

"We were set out to raise what we thought was probably the largest corn crop in the history of American agriculture," Said Illinois Farm Bureau President Phillip Nelson.

Instead, months of drought are killing those expectations ... and the corn. Nelson says some farmers will end up with no crop, or only half of one.


More than two dozen Illinois counties have received disaster designations because of the ongoing drought.
And the state’s stepping in to help deal with the loss of crops. Governor Pat Quinn toured a farm in Jefferson County in Southern Illinois on Monday.  It’ been hit hard by a lack of rain.

"They’ve never seen anything like this. We were trying to find an ear of corn. We finally found one. It was about four inches long and it looked like something you’d put in a salad." - Governor Pat Quinn

The drought in southern Wisconsin has been officially declared severe, and all of Illinois is now officially in a drought … but there is one crop that seems to be doing fine despite the hot weather.

Officials at the National Drought Mitigation Center in Nebraska say Cook County is fully in a moderate drought for the first time this year. ... But that isn't the worst of it.

Far southern Illinois is designated as being in an exceptional drought, which is the most serious classification. 

Media Services / Northern Illinois University

A large portion of northern Illinois was under a “red flag warning” Tuesday.  But what does that mean? On Tuesday afternoon, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens called Northern Illinois University meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste to get an explanation.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Dust storms and fire danger alerts are not what you expect to hear in May in Illinois. But these are signs of a very dry spring.