by , posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 8:35 am

It rained last night. According to the rain gauge in my backyard it rained about 1 1/4″ and Tom Skilling said on Facebook that

Heaviest rain in nearly a year has fallen at Midway tonight! 2.02″ fell this evening amid 50 mph wind gusts. 1.50″ of that total came down in just 30 minutes! The last time that much rain fell at Midway was on July 23 last summer when 2.30″ fell.

Huge relief. We were all dancing around the house at midnight calling out to each other when we started to hear the drops fall on the roof (we’d been hearing thunder and seeing lightning for more than an hour prior to the actual rain). You can already see the grass starting to green up, and I’m sure my vegetables are loving this.

On the downside, other than some brief euphoria in the burbs, don’t really know that it will matter that much. To quote Tom Skilling again, a little farther back on his Facebook page:

Thunderstorm prospects are rising with a front sitting across the area…Having said that–it’s summer. Rain falls VERY unevenly.

And with soil moisture at very, very low levels, a little greening of the grass won’t help much even here where it fell, not when we are headed back into the 90’s after one day in the mid to high 80’s tomorrow. Yesterday was our 32nd day of temps in the 90’s this year – the average is 17 for a full year – and the ten day forecast is predicting 90s for seven of the next ten days. And of course its much like me watering my vegetable gardens on a larger scale; a nice rainstorm saving shrubbery in the burbs doesn’t help a lot when crops are failing at stunning rates.

While most of the corn crop is now seen as largely beyond repair, no matter how much it rains, there may yet be hope for the soybean crop as rains are forecast in the east mid-next week.

However, the drought is spreading into the western and northwestern crop belt, leading to further stress and more crop losses.

According to this morning’s drought monitor update, most of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa have been moved into severe drought from moderate drought, while southern Wisconsin has been moved to extreme drought, and Indiana just continues to go deeper and deeper into extreme territory. The severity of the drought is deepening almost everywhere and covers most of the midsection of the country – and then some – in some level or the other.

The map is here, and well worth looking at, particularly the twelve week progression.


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