The recent heat wave, coupled with lower than normal precipitation, has produced conditions ripe for what’s known as a “flash drought” in the Chicago area, according to the National Weather Service.
The 10-day outlook shows odds leaning toward a continued dry spell.
A flash drought may be developing (see bottom of thread for what a flash drought is). So far June rainfall has been below average across the area, w/the deficit particularly large the past 10 days. Short term dry spells happen, but concerned b/c dry spell is forecast to persist. pic.twitter.com/CixCt35BE4
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) June 21, 2022
Flash droughts, unlike conventional droughts, come on quickly.
Abnormally high temperatures increase the rate at which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere, lowering soil moisture, which is then exacerbated by decreased rainfall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Flash droughts typically occur during warm seasons in the central U.S., NOAA said, with a 2012 flash drought in the Great Plains causing $30 billion in damage to the agricultural sector.
Researchers are still working to better understand flash droughts in order to improve prediction and mitigation.