USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey is looking back at May and notes some farmers are still concerned about drought. “It’s been dry over much of the Midwest during the last one to three months, depending on where you’re at,” Rippey says.
The American Meteorological Society says a 4-12 week period of dryness fits the definition of a flash drought. A flash drought is an “unusually rapid onset drought characterized by a multi-week timeframe of accelerated intensification that impacts one or more sectors of the U.S., including agriculture.
Rippey also says the area around Chicago is going through a flash drought. Data shows the Chicago area is headed for its second-driest May in history. The likely rainfall total for the Chicago area is just .42 of an inch. Rippey says 26 percent of corn acres, 36 percent of cotton, 20 percent of soybeans, and 47 percent of wheat are in some level of drought.