According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about half of Illinois and nearly 85 percent of Iowa are experiencing drought.
Midwestern Regional Climate Center Climatologist Steve Hilberg says current dry conditions are essentially the same as three months ago.
“We are into the winter season when January and February are typically the months of the year when we have the least precipitation, although it might be hard to convince people of that this year,” says Hilberg. “That leads to the fact that we don’t see a lot of improvement in drought situations.”
Recent snowfall and precipitation aren’t helping to improve drought conditions because the ground is still frozen and can’t absorb the moisture.
Hilberg says spring rain may be enough to completely alleviate dry conditions in western and central Illinois. But drought designations are likely to linger through summer for central and southeastern Iowa.