While the area experienced some rain Saturday, do you remember the last time it rained before that? If not, it's probably because up until Saturday's minor rainfall there had been just 1,200th of an inch of precipitation in June, National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Izzi said.
In fact, it's been so dry that the rainfall record for the first 15 days of June — 100th of an inch, set in 1922 — was toppled Friday, Izzi said.
Even with thunderstorms Saturday night, it's possible the area could set the record for the dryest June in recorded history if conditions continue, he said. That record was set in 1988, when only one inch of rain fell, he said.
"That would be an extraordinary record to break," Izzi said.
Given that the area's had just eight to nine inches of rain in the last 90 days — compared to the 10 to 15 inches normal for that time period — it's also extremely likely the U.S. Drought Monitor will declare the area in a D1-level moderate drought this week, he said.
Right now the area's classified as D0 — abnormally dry, he said. There are parts of central Illinois that are already at the moderate level and the far tip of the state is at the severe drought level, according the drought monitor, stationed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The rain over the weekend may have had more impact for areas farther south, but overall it didn't make much difference in DuPage and Will Counties, Andrew Krein, a meterologist with the National Weather Service said Sunday night.
"As far as the net effect of the rain on potential drought conditions, we are still well below normal," Krein said.
In DuPage County and Northern Will County only about a half-inch of rain fell Saturday, he said.
The area is about 2 1/2 inches below where it should be at this time of year, Krein said.
The lack of rain is a huge problem for farmers, who count on June precipitation to bolster their crops through the typically hotter months of July and August.
Izzi said an equally big concern is the threat of wildfires, which can easily ignite and spread during extremely dry conditions, especially when it's windy.
Taking a Toll on the Landscaping
In Naperville, the city is asking residents who received new parkway trees or who had a parkway tree replaced this spring to water the trees.
The city said that giving the tree about 10 gallons of water per week will improve a new tree’s health, and even well established trees will benefit from deep watering.
Trees can be watered with a hose or with a root feeder, according to the city of Naperville.
The city's sprinking hours are as follows:
Sprinkling is only permitted in the city from 6 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. Property owners with odd-numbered street addresses may use sprinklers on odd-numbered days of the month; property owners with even-numbered street addresses may use sprinklers on even-numbered days of the month.
While watering trees to maintain health is important, homeowners may want to save on watering costs and lessen the amount of water used on lawns and let them go dormant, said Heather Prince, horticulturalist at Naperville-based .
Find more tips on caring for plants during the dry weather in on Naperville Patch.