BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WCIA) – Drought conditions have expanded in Central Illinois again.

The U.S. Drought Monitor has upgraded parts of Ford, Livingston, Iroquois and De Witt Counties back into moderate drought (D1) levels, while abnormally dry conditions expand across much of Central Illinois.

This week’s drought monitor for Central Illinois

That growth in dry conditions is noticed when you look at last week’s drought monitor.

Last week’s drought monitor for Central Illinois

Rainfall totals have been sparse since September, with some scattered areas not seeing much rain in over 30 days.

While some areas are still above normal for the year, some areas have seen dismal rain totals in the last 4-6 weeks. Effingham has received less than 5″ in the last two months, around 2″ below normal. And Danville has only recorded around 1″ of rain since August 28th.

Extended outlooks continue to suggest drier weather may linger, which isn’t unusual in the fall during La Nina years.

Beneficial rains that would help lessen the drought seem unlikely over the next two weeks, per the 8-14 day outlooks. To fight back the drought, we’d need several steady soaking rain events with 1-2″ for each of them spread out over a couple of weeks.

We’ll expect a continual growth of our drought conditions in the week to come. It’s likely that we’ll stay drier through the end of the year, but La Nina winters tend to swing wetter on the back half. Time will tell, and we’ll watch to see how things pan out.