Tuesday, July 17, 2012
More Heat Expected As Drought Expands, Crops Suffer
State Climatologist Jim Angel summed up the drought Friday. "The normal rainfall per week in Illinois is about an inch. So we need that inch per week just to keep from slipping farther behind," he said.
Weather forecasters expected area temps to hit between 100 and 102 degrees today before a slow-moving cold front moved in tonight. However, meteorologists warned the cooler air mass was moving so slowly the baked earth might heat it right back up again tomorrow so it wouldn't provide as much relief as normal.
The front includes the possibility of scattered rain but Angel reminded, "No amount of rain at this point will undo the damage done to crops already." Downstate the drought and heat's been worse and some farmers have already given up and are chopping corn into silage. The USDA's July crops report still predicts corn stocks will finish the year in the black but December futures have jumped about $2 in the past month.
Ironically, in the midst of the drought, McHenry County's without a Water Resources Manager. Cassandra McKinney who spent the last five years jawboning water conservation left the post last month to take over the Green Economy and Sustainable Water Center at the College of Lake County.
In the pic: The effect of heat and drought is variable in southeastern McHenry County. This field of corn near Huntley is obviously stressed.