ASK TOM: Recent rain's effect on Midwest drought

Dear Tom,

My wife and I are former Chicagoans now living in Florida. We have heard about all the rain in the Midwest and we are wondering what effect that has had on the terrible drought that Illinois has been suffering.

–William Hart, Parrish, Fla.

 

Dear William, Drought conditions appeared across Illinois in spring 2012, then worsened through the following summer. Drought intensity peaked in July and August and during that period 90 to 96 percent of the state was experiencing either severe, extreme or exceptional drought. Precipitation returned to normal by the winter, then surged far above normal by late winter and into spring of this year. Drought has been eradicated statewide, but we’re experiencing too much of a good thing and flooding is now a major problem.