The blue skies and bright sunshine are unrelenting. This is what a drought looks like, and state climatologist Jim Angel says there’s no end in sight. “If we look at the National Weather Service forecast right now, they’re actually pretty grim. They’ve got the rest of June being drier than normal, and also the same story for July as well, so I don’t see, at least in the immediate future, any turnaround of this,” he said.
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Angel says, though, that the end of a drought can come as a surprise. So far, the northern part of the state is characterized as “abnormally dry,” with rainfall behind the yearly norm by two to four inches of rain, about a month’s worth. But as you go south it gets more severe. Southern Illinois is eight to 10 inches short for the year. The drought is moderate or severe in Central and Southern Illinois.