Some long-awaited rain could be moving into the Chicago area Friday, but the rainfall is not expected to make much of a dent in the state's shortfall of precipitation.
The Chicago Weather Center forecasts that "spotty showers and thunderstorms" will roam through Chicago Friday afternoon through Saturday evening.
But any rainfall is expected to fall far short of the precipitation required to offset the area's drought conditions, which have made a big impact on area farmers and gardeners.
About two-thirds of Illinois is currently in the midst of a severe drought, while 9 percent of the state is experiencing an extreme drought, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday is expected to unveil a new, statewide response plan to the widespread drought conditions, according to NBC Chicago.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller told CBS Chicago that the situation is dire -- and not expected to get much better in the near future.
"The best thing for us to do is just hope and pray for rain, and hopefully that will turn around, but there’s really a forecast of not much of an end in sight in terms of our drought conditions," Miller said.
A tree expert with the Morton Arboretum told NBC that the state's dry conditions are contributing to "the worst drought symptoms I have observed in my professional career." Thousands of trees in the city could be at risk unless rain falls soon.
Meanwhile, temperatures in the Chicago area are expected to climb toward last week's record-setting highs in the days ahead. CBS Chicago forecasts Saturday's high at 87, Sunday's at 92 and highs in the mid-90s next week.
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