The state of Illinois is suffering from its driest conditions in more than a decade. In fact, large swathes of the Midwest and Plains states are suffering from extraordinarily dry conditions according the U.S. Drought Monitor.
But a certain kind of drought is becoming more and more frequent: flash drought. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines flash drought as follows:
Flash drought is simply the rapid onset or intensification of drought. It is set in motion by lower-than-normal rates of precipitation, accompanied by abnormally high temperatures, winds, and radiation. Together, these changes in weather can rapidly alter the local climate.
Illinois had been suffering from flash droughts since mid-April when virtually none of the state suffered from drought conditions.