The latest results from the USDA's drought monitor are in, fresh through Tuesday of this week, and it indicates a dramatic worsening of the flash drought—particularly in Illinois.

drought monitor flash drought

The situation in far southern Illinois hasn't gotten any worse, but in the space of a week, July 17-24 most of the state went from severe to extreme drought. It's considered a "flash drought" because it's unusual for drought to increase this quickly, and in the (admittedly brief) span of the USDA's data, it's unprecedented:

The jump "this week was the largest since we started the U.S. Drought Monitor" in 2000, Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and Drought Monitor author, told NBC News. "This is really showing the rapid intensification of the drought due to the heat/dryness over the region with little relief for anyone."