The temperature at O'Hare just hit 35°C, and it's still rising. This is the 7th day in a row of above-32°C temperatures, and it looks like we're in for another 4 more days of it—including 38°C tomorrow and 39°C Thursday.
But that isn't the main weather story of the day; the drought is:
The latest USDA Illinois Weather and Crops report was released this afternoon. The topsoil conditions were rated at 52 percent “very short” and 37 percent “short” and only 11 percent adequate. Soil moisture conditions were best in northern Illinois, and deteriorated southward. Hardest hit was southeastern Illinois with 100 percent of the topsoil and 100 percent of subsoil rated as “very short”.
Corn and soybeans—Illinois produces 18% of the country's corn and 16% of the county's soybean— make up 73% of the state's gross agricultural product, amounting to $7.2bn per year. This summer is bad, but possibly not as bad as 1988. Yet.