Dear Tom,

With all the rain we have been having, are we out of the drought yet? 

If not, how much more rain would it take?

Joy Hajduk-DeGraff

Dear Joy,

Recent rainfall has been quite beneficial in alleviating the area’s drought conditions. The most recent U.S. drought monitor released on April 7 has much of the central and south portions of the Chicago area drought-free, though areas north and west of the city are still categorized as being abnormally dry or in moderate drought. In the immediate Chicago area, counties bordering Wisconsin are the driest. So far this year, the heaviest rains have been falling from Chicago south. At Midway Airport precipitation for the year is nearly 2.5 inches above normal, while O’Hare is about 1.5 inches above normal. Farther north, however, Milwaukee is nearly one inch below normal.