After a very wet first half of the year that saw continuous snow and rain fall over the Midwest, July and August gradually turned dry, except for extreme southern Missouri. This dry trend really accelerated in the past three weeks. The dryness has now reached the point that parts of Missouri into Minnesota are now classified into a "moderate" drought category. The "abnormally dry" category now covers quite a bit of Illinois into Indiana. The Midwest drought map can be seen in the graphic from the US Drought Monitor.
Last night severe storms moved across northern Wisconsin ahead of a slow moving cold front. Before midnight the storms started to break up as they moved in Michigan with just a handful over northern Illinois. It looked like that was going to be it, most of the Midwest would continue dry. However, overnight storms formed from eastern Nebraska into northwest Iowa. The Nebraska storms dissipated, but the Iowa storms moved east into northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin early this morning. There they merged and blossomed with a few storms that were sitting over northern Illinois in the early morning. The result has been a large and slow moving area of showers and storms over northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, into northern Indiana through most of the morning into early afternoon.
For the Chicago metro area, finally some much needed rainfall. It looks like rainfall has ranged so far between 1/4 to 1 inch of rain depending on location. The rain after our first official 90 degree day at O'hare for the entire month of August. The cold front will bring down two days of cooler weather, but the heat and humidity return in earnest over the area Sunday into next week. This cooling and warming trend can be seen in the Chicago Tribune graphic found here. Highs all next week are expected in the 85-90 degree range with very little chance of rain.
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