The U-S Drought Monitor says much of the country is still in an extreme or exceptional drought condition, but there is improvement. State Climatologist Jim Angel says soil moisture is better after the remnants of hurricane Isaac and a series of smaller storms passed through Illinois. Generally, it takes months to rebound from severe drought. Angel says the next several weeks are important to recovery.
"You know we can get some pretty wet weather in October and November and even early December. Then once it gets cold enough everything kind of gets locked in place in terms of soil moisture. There really isn't much improvement after that as the soils freeze."
Angel says January and February tend to be the driest months in Illinois. But Angel says if the state has typical winter weather this year, the ground will be ready for the next growing season.
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