Drought Expands to Half of Midwest I-States

Roughly half of the Midwest “I states” are experiencing some form of drought. The weekly Drought Monitor reports drought conditions in 44 percent of Illinois, 51 percent of Indiana and 52 percent of Iowa. The total area enduring abnormal dryness and drought increased this week, most noticeably in the Ohio Valley, the Midwest, and Texas. The Drought Monitor reports the last 30 days brought only 0.5 to 2.0 inches of rain to a broad strip from central Iowa through western Indiana, in addition to east-central Michigan and the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula. The drought follows the wettest twelve-month period on record, followed by the hottest two months around the globe on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports the period from January through July produced a global temperature that was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 56.9 degrees, tying with 2017 as the second-hottest year to date on record. July 2019 was recorded as the hottest month ever on record, followed by June.