Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know that the past few months have been dry. As the summer heat ramps up, Central Illinoisans are watching their once lush green lawns dry up and turn brown and concerns of drought are increasing across the state. In the latest Drought Monitor released on June 14th abnormally dry conditions were present across the state, but given the recent dry weather, it’s something that’s likely to expand in the coming weeks.

Despite a few periods of rain here and there, the past few months have featured below average precipitation across Central Illinois. In fact, Peoria has ended up more than an inch below average in precipitation in April and May and will likely do so again in June.

So far in the month of June most of Central Illinois has only received 50%-75% of their normal rainfall and its even worse near Champaign where they only seen 10-25% of normal rainfall. With hot summer temperatures and a little bit of a breezy, the limited moisture in the soil dries out quickly this time of year which leads to the onset of a flash drought and potentially long term drought conditions.

Central Illinois will experience another round of near record heat on Tuesday as temperatures top out in the upper 90s. A cold front will bring just a little relief from the heat on Wednesday and one of the few opportunities for rainfall Tuesday night.

The Weather Prediction Center’s 5 Day Rainfall Forecast calls for less than 0.50″ of rain west of the Illinois River and less than 0.10″ for areas east of the river, and those amounts may prove to be optimistic!

While we will a bit of a cool down late this upcoming weekend and early next week, the 8-16 Day Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center says it’s more likely that we see a return to above average temperatures and near to below average precipitation between June 28th and July 4th.