National Drought Monitor: Region abnormally dry
Light sprinkles fell in some parts of the Union County area early Tuesday morning – otherwise, the area had not seen any rain since Sept. 19.
The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Neb., posted information on its website which showed that much of Southern Illinois was experiencing abnormally dry conditions as of Sept. 26.
Southern Illinois counties which were experiencing abnormally dry conditions included Union, Jackson, Williamson, Johnson, Alexander and Pulaski.
The drought center rates drought conditions on a scale that goes from none to D0 (abnormally dry) to D4 (exceptional drought). Conditions are updated by the center on Thursdays.
Anna Fire Chief Gary Rider noted that the dry conditions in the area continue to be monitored. Rider, and many others, were hoping for some rain this week.
Drier than normal conditions, along with above normal temperatures, were recorded during September at many locations in Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky.
“It was hard to believe the month ended with above normal temperatures after what we endured during the first two weeks,” the National Weather Service office in Paducah reported on its website.
Through Sept. 13, it was actually the coldest start to September on record in Paducah and Cape Girardeau.
A major pattern change then followed, with abnormally warm and even some record high temperatures set during the period of Sept. 20-27.
Highs routinely hit the 90s during this stretch. Overall temperatures were around 1 to 2 degrees above normal for September.
Cape Girardeau had record high temperatures: 95 degrees on Sept. 22 and 91 degrees on Sept. 26.
Rain was hard to come by for many locations, with drier than normal conditions.
Deficits of 1 to 3 inches were common across Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and part of Western Kentucky.
Paducah recorded 2.55 inches of rain during September.
Cape Girardeau experienced its six driest September on record, with only 0.73 of an inch rain for the entire month.
The Ozark foothills in Missouri observed the least rainfall, with some locations picking up less than 0.25 of an inch.
The Poplar Bluff, Mo., airport received only 0.06 of an inch of rain for the entire month.
The exception to the dryness was in part of the Pennyrile region of Western Kentucky into a portion of southwest Indiana.
This area experienced heavier rainfall associated with the remnants of Hurricane Harvey on the 1st of the month and the remnants of Hurricane Irma on the 12th and 13th, which resulted in wetter than normal conditions.