Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinois saw some much needed rain last weekend with many areas receiving 1-4 inches of rain. Despite the heavy rain, drought conditions remain in place and have even worsened in parts of Illinois.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor released on Thursday, June 30th continued to show Abnormally Dry conditions across much of Illinois while parts of eastern Illinois saw an expansion of Moderate Drought conditions in the last week. Using the slider below you can see the change in drought conditions across Illinois since last week.

June 21st, 202253.02%40.60%6.38%
June 28th, 202241.53%50.08%8.39%
Change in Area-11.49%+9.48%+2.01%

Even though the ground was able to soak up a good deal of moisture, it turns out the rain we had last weekend was just too much, too fast resulting in a lot of excessive runoff. Thankfully the weather pattern will be trending a bit more active next week giving the state multiple opportunities to receive some much needed rain.

A Look Ahead

A cold front will move across Central Illinois Friday bringing scattered showers and storms to the area. Unfortunately, outside of the stronger storms that develop, rainfall amounts will generally be less than 0.25″ and won’t make a dent in the developing and expanding drought conditions.

The cold front will stall and be the focus of scattered showers and storms throughout the weekend but these rain chances will be highest south of I-72 and we are likely to remain dry locally. By the Fourth of July the stalled front will gradually shift back to the north as a warm front bringing better rain chances to central and northern Illinois.

A strong ridge of high pressure will build across the Central Plains next week, bringing hot and humid conditions to America’s heartland. With that heat and humidity will come strong instability that will fuel periods of thunderstorms on the northern edge of the ridge, what we call a “Ring of Fire” weather pattern. It’s difficult to say exactly when and where these storms will go, but with Central Illinois sitting on the northern edge of this ridge, we appear to at least have a shot of seeing some of these storms move through the region. At this point in time, there is a 20% to 50% chance of rain every day next week, including Independence Day.

The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 Day Outlook for July 8th through the 14th calls for that pattern to remain in place, more-or-less. They are calling for a greater likelihood of above temperatures across the Central Plains and the Midwest with above average precipitation favored across the Midwest.