The updated National Drought Monitor reflects slight drought improvement across the Corn Belt, with 27.24% of the region now covered by some form of drought, an improvement from 30.62% last week. Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota saw some drought improvement, while Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan saw expansion of drought.
"An extremely wet week hit the northern Plains and upper Midwest, with Minnesota experiencing their largest flash flood event in the state since June 2012. More than 6 inches of rain fell during the 24-hour period ... across central Minnesota into northwestern Wisconsin," states the Monitor. "However, it also rained several other days during the week, with widespread storms and generous amounts of rain occurring in the northern Plains, upper Midwest, western Corn Belt and southward into the Tennessee Valley. Not surprisingly, a 1-category improvement was made to the D0-D2 area of western Minnesota, northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota."
"Farther south, over 2 inches of rain was enough to eliminate D0 from parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, but the larger D0-D1 area in southern Iowa and northeastern Missouri stayed as the rains were not enough to significantly eliminate 90-day deficits or greatly improve three-month SPIs except in a few locations; however, another week or two of similar rains should be enough for improvement," states the Monitor, adding that southern Nebraska, southern Wisconsin and the eastern Corn Belt (Indiana, Ohio, southern lower Michigan) missed out on the best precip.
In its outlook for July 14 through 18, the Monitor notes that light to moderate precipitation (0.75-1.5 inches) is expected across much of the Northern and Central Plains, Midwest, Tennessee Valley, southern Appalachians, Carolinas, southern Louisiana and Florida, and the Northeast, with the largest totals (2-3.5 inches) in the south-central Plains, southern Appalachians and North Carolina. "Little or no rain is forecast for much of the Far West, Rockies, Southern Plains and coastal New England," it adds. "Temperatures should average above-normal in the Southwest and Southern High Plains, Deep South, and in the Atlantic Coast States, with subnormal readings in the Northwest, Northern Plains and Midwest."