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Snowstorm Should Help Ground Moisture Levels In Chicago Area

Snow on the ground in Crown Point, Ind., during the snowstorm on March 5, 2013. (Viewer Photo: Andrew James)

Snow on the ground in Crown Point, Ind., during the snowstorm on March 5, 2013. (Viewer Photo: Andrew James)

tafoya250 Bernie Tafoya
I’m a lifelong Chicagoan and could never see myself living anywhere...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It might be tough to drive in, but Tuesday’s snowstorm should bring some benefits to the Chicago area.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, northern Illinois has ranged recently from moderate drought to just abnormally dry.

Tuesday’s snow should go a long way towards bringing some normalcy to moisture in the ground, according to Kris Bachtel, the vice president of collections and facilities at the Morton Arboretum.

Bachtel said the snow should act as an insulator for the ground, and actually promote thawing. That will allow the melting snow to seep more easily into the ground.

Moisture levels were getting so bad in this area that Bachtel was actually having conversations in January about how to deal with such dry conditions. Not any more.

“We’re definitely catching up on the moisture,” he said.

Before Tuesday, the U.S. Drought Monitor put the Chicago area in the “abnormally dry” category. Some areas of the Greats Plains were still at severe drought levels.