Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — While it’s been nice not having to deal with severe storms, the recent stretch of dry weather is bringing a growing concern of a flash drought across Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

What is a flash drought?

A flash drought is defined as the rapid onset or intensification of drought conditions. These conditions develop when there’s been below average precipitation and abnormally high temperatures, wind & solar insolation which result in more evaporation and eventual drought.

Here’s a look at some rainfall stats so far this month for Peoria and Normal.

Month-to-Date RainfallMay Average Rainfall
Peoria1.83″ (-1.55″)4.69″
Normal2.18″ (-1.22″)4.81″

Over the past 30 days, Central Illinois has seen only 50-90% of it’s normal rainfall. With no rain expected through the end of the month, rainfall deficits are expected to grow to 2.50″ – 3.00″ below average by the end of the month.

That along with persistent above average temperatures have and will continue to result in below average soil moisture, especially along and north of I-74 as seen in the map below.

Current Drought Monitor

The latest Drought Monitor from Thursday, May 18th shows abnormally dry conditions over much of the area. We’re likely to see this area expand in the next update with moderate drought conditions possible within the next two weeks.

Summer Outlook

It looks like the recent warm and dry weather may just be a temporary issue. The Climate Prediction Center’s Summer Outlook suggest we stand a greater chance of experiencing above average precipitation between June and August, though the temperature outlook is less certain.