Climatology of precipitation droughts in illinois based on water supply problems

William E. Easterling, Stanley A. Changnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Drought begins with a reduction in precipitation, but different kinds of precipitation deficiency episodes (duration, intensity, and areal extent) create varying problems for drought-sensitive activities; an agricultural droughttypically is not a water supply drought. Shared characteristics of precipitation deficiency events and related surface water supply problems in Illinois were used to define climatological characteristics of precipitation deficiency droughts that cause problems for water supply systems. The temporal and spatial characteristics of these water supply precipitation droughts were assessed revealing that droughts typically: (a) begin in warm season months; (b) become more widespread when more severe and/or of shorter duration (although all droughts could be expected to cover at least 75%-85% of the state); (c) are more severe and frequent in central Illinois; and (d) end with much above normal precipitation in the initial post-drought months, but tend to recess to slightly drier than normal conditions (but not drought levels).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-377
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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