CHICAGO (CBS) — With no meaningful chance of rain in the extended forecast and rain totals already well below normal, drought conditions are hitting our area hard.
The practical impact ranges from stresses on the agricultural industy to lawns that are weedier than normal, CBS 2 meteorologist Laura Bannon reports.READ MORE: Red Cross Seeking Donations As Blood Shortage Worsens
Severe or moderate drought conditions cover northeast Illinois, including most of Chicago. Abnormally dry conditions have been reported farther south.
For Chicago, since Jan. 1, we’ve picked up 6.96 inches of rain, which is about nine inches below normal at this point in the year. Last year, Chicago had 20.84 inches of rain by this point in June.READ MORE: CTU: Layoffs Will Hit Hardest Schools On South, West Sides
As a result, row crop and vegetable conditions are poor, creating stress on farmers and agriculture businesses. Power plant intake is also compromised. Water levels in wells, ponds, rivers and lakes are low, Outdoor burn bans are also in effect.
For homeowners, lawns are beginning to grow dormant and weeds are growing faster.
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With no meaningful chance for rain, the hot weather this weekend will only make conditions worse.